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Attempted jailbreak: SSS to punish errant operatives

Deputy Director, Public Relations, Department of State Services,   Ms. Marylyn Ogar

The leadership of the State Security Service has commenced an investigation into an attempted jailbreak at the agency’s detention facility in Abuja on Sunday.

Our correspondents learnt on Monday that the investigation was aimed at punishing errant SSS operatives, whose carelessness was said to have been responsible for the incident.

This is as the SSS said on Monday that 16 detainees, who escaped during the jail break attempt, were rearrested.

It was learnt that the leadership of  the SSS had been embittered by professional lapses of the operatives.

Security sources told one of our correspondents in Abuja that the secret agency had commenced probe of the incident since Sunday.

One of the sources said the bosses at the SSS were alarmed that the detainees’ handler went to the detention facility without adherence to standard procedure for feeding inmates.

The source said, “What happened was abnormal. The incident was queried by the leadership. A decision has been taken to x-ray the entire incident in order to get the details.

“The standard operational procedure is for three people to go to the detention centre to feed the inmates.

“Usually, the person carrying the food does not carry arms but in this case, he was hanging a Cador rifle.

“That is why the matter has to be properly investigated to find out where the lapses occurred.

“The others were with him. If not for those that were with him, the detainees would have killed many people.

“Going to the detention centre with the gun was in violation of the rule and if it is investigated those culpable might be punished.”

It was gathered that laxity on the part of the operatives contributed to the attempted jailbreak.

Investigations showed that the terror suspects took advantage of the absence of most personnel on Sunday to make the jailbreak attempt.

Sources told one of our correspondents that lack of security cameras in the detention facility also made it possible for the suspects to plan their escape without giving the authorities room for suspicion.

“The terror suspects knew that most personnel don’t come to work on Sunday and beside that, the few operatives on duty would be in a relaxed mood since their bosses won’t be around, so they took advantage of the situation and made their move, but we successfully foiled it,” a source stated.

The Deputy Director, Public Relations, SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said that 16 suspects that escaped from the facility were re-arrested.

She added that 21  suspects who resisted arrest were shot.

“We were able to re-arrest 16 suspects that scaled the fence and escaped out of the facility and 18 others who resisted arrest were shot. Eight suspects however refused to participate in the jail-break,” Ogar told a private-owned Channels television on Monday.

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