According to him, those still at large are considered to be hardened criminals. He added that any staff found wanting would face the full wrath of the law.
He made this disclosure, yesterday, after an inspection of facilities at Ikot Ekpene Prisons.
The Controller General, who described the facilities in Ikot Ekpene Prisons as well fortified, attributed the jailbreak to lapses on the part of prison staff.
He said: “About 40 inmates found their way out of Ikot Ekpene Prisons in broad daylight around 11.45 a.m. They exploited the lapses they saw. Perhaps they had been planning it for a very long time and actualised it on December 27, 2017, when they saw the opportunity.
“The 28 that are at large are very hardened criminals. Some of them are kidnappers who are awaiting trials. Some are facing capital punishment. This is, therefore, something to worry about.”
He lamented that those still at large were supposed to be in custody, to allow members of the society live in peace.
He assured that the fleeing inmates would soon be recaptured to face trial.
He debunked insinuations that the jailbreak was due to infringement on the inmates’ fundamental rights.
It would be recalled that on December 27, 2017, some prisoners attacked the kitchen staff on duty at Ikot Ekpene Prison. They seized an axe from a fellow inmate attached to the kitchen, inflicting a deep cut on the inmate’s head in the process. They immediately made for the rear entrance to the prison. They broke the door with the axe and engaged the staff that chased them in battle.
At the end of the scuffle, four of them that sustained gunshot wounds lost their lives, while seven were recaptured.