Senators want creation of special prisons for 'high-profile' criminals

The centres are to be better-protected to prevent jail breaks.

Senators are worried about the trend of prison breaks across the country [Tope Brown]

Lawmakers in the Senate on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 passed a resolution to demand the creation of special correctional centres for high-profile criminals.

The resolution was passed after more than 30 minutes of debate regarding the level of insecurity in Nigeria.

The debate was sparked by the attack by gunmen on the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos, Plateau State on Sunday, November 28.

The attack left nine inmates and one security operative dead, and 252 escaping the facility.

Senator Amos Bulus Kilawangs (Gombe South - APC) said the attack, alongside attacks on other centres, shows that criminals are not scared to free their comrades in custody.

He said the locations of the facilities in populated areas make them easy targets for informants and gunmen to operate efficiently.

The lawmaker moved a motion to have special correctional facilities created for 'condemned and high-profile' criminals with strategies that make them impossible to break into.

"There is a need for us as a nation to create special centres where these high-profile criminals will be isolated.

"We'll have about three security levels. In other words, you keep them in an isolated place," he said.

Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central - APC) seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously by lawmakers present when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over Tuesday's plenary.

The attack on the centre in Jos continues a trend of attacks on correctional centres across Nigeria.

Large-scale prison breaks have happened in Edo last year, and Imo, Oyo, and Kogi this year, leading to the escape of thousands of inmates, many of them awaiting trial.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said earlier this month that 3,906 inmates who have escaped from centres across Nigeria since last year are still at large.

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