An explosion reportedly rocked a section of the Okaka Prison, Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital following failed attempts by six inmates to carry out a jailbreak.
Six inmates, led by Victor Tekekuma (awaiting-trial for murder and kidnapping) deployed an explosive in a failed operation to escape on Sunday night.
They blasted a toilet wall about 9.02 pm and crawled out through an improvised hole into the prison yard.
But it was learnt they were stopped by prison guards and other security operatives.
It was learnt the state’s Controller of Prisons, Mr. Chiabu Chuks Victor, whose residence was close, called the Police Commissioner, Amba Asuquo, who sent a detachment.
Director, Department of State Sevices (DSS), Mr. Segun Agbaje; Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. (NSCDC), Mr. Desmond Agu; and the Joint Task Force (JTF), were said to have operatives to foil the attempt.
A security operative, who spoke in confidence, said the mastermind of the failed prison break got the IEDs through his visiting brother-in-law.
He said the explosive was concealed in a sealed beverage given to him by his in-law.
“The IED was concealed in blue band margarine 900mg plastic pack. The content of the plastic was scooped out first.
He added that Victor later produced two IEDs out of it to blow the walls.
Investigation showed that they were all awaiting-trial for kidnapping, murder and armed robbery. Victor Tekekuma arrived the prison in November 2016.
Others are Korinake Mark (November 2016); Gideon Gbagbe (October 2016); Angiamene Alex (November 2016); and Daniel Abraham (June (May 2016).
It was gathered security operatives shot sporadically to ward off possible pre-arranged external aides by the inmates.
The gunshots temporarily disrupted the peace in Okaka as residents deserted the street and ran for safety.
A resident, who identified himself as Destiny, said there was heavy presence of security.
“Bars and shops were forced to close down because of shootings by security operatives. But nobody was killed and injured. People ran out of fear because nobody knew what was happening. But after some time, peace returned”, he said.
State’s Controller of Prisons Victor confirmed the attempted jailbreak and said the synergy among security agencies rescued the situation.
He said investigation was on to unravel circumstances behind the attempt.
“About 9.02 pm on Sunday, there was a loud bang in the prison yard, which attracted attention of security officials.
“The response was immediate as the prison arm squad and other security officials advanced to the scene. The about-to-flee inmates were accosted and kept in separate cells. They were six”.
He said security agencies are trailing John Koko, who resides in Sangana, Brass Local Government; Tunichi Michael; Stanley; and Ebiogi, who are linked to the incident.
The controller added that a device, suspected to be an unexploded IED was recovered and handed over to the police.
“The prompt response of the Bayelsa Police commissioner; Director DSS, Mr. Segun Agbaje; Commandant, NSCDC, Mr. Desmond Agu, were instrumental to aborting what could have been a jailbreak”.