The public relations officer of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Francis Enobore, has claimed that the incident at Minna Medium Security Prison in which over 200 inmates escaped was an attack, not jail break.
Mr Enobore said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
“Perhaps educating the members of the public on the different terms wrongly used by people would go a long way in helping the masses.
“The terms escape, jail break and prison attack have completely different meanings to the Nigeria Prisons Service,” he said.
“To start with, escape is basically when one or two persons scale out of watch, which may not necessarily involve any damage to the infrastructure.
“Jail break is an internal crisis generated from within and which will eventually lead to mass escape of prisoners.
“Prison attack occurs when there is an external invasion on the facilities and that was exactly what happened in the case of the unfortunate incident at Minna.
“Group of criminals came through, fully armed and attacked our men on duty just to carry out their mission and freed some prisoners in our custody,” he said
The attack at the Minna Medium Security Prison at Tunga area of Minna metropolis occured on June 3 at about 8:00 p.m.
The incident led to the death of a prison officer and a motorcyclist, who conveyed a prison officer on night duty.
The spokesman said the Nigerian Prisons Service had experienced relatively calm and peaceful atmosphere the whole of 2015.
He also said that it was when the new administration came on board that there were disturbances from hoodlums and strategies had been put in place to ensure that those ugly incidents were reduced to the barest minimum.
Mr Enobore identified overcrowding, old and weak infrastructure as the major causes of those ugly incidents in the past.
He said that the NPS had embarked on projects that would erase all the ugly incidents, adding that fortified cells would be built to ensure safety.
The PRO also said the NPS had spoken to other sister security agencies to establish more robust collaboration to curb the crime rate in the country.
“Majority of the inmates that were apprehended after the escape were returned by their family members because they had the understanding of what prison looked like.
“This shows the effort of the Controller General of the Nigerian Prison Service, Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed, was yielding positive result since he assumed office.
The PRO said the community had been educated to see the reasonable part of having prison and not to see the prison as a dungeon but a place to learn and to be rebuilt.