Three prison officers have been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Minna for criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting the escape of five armed robbery gang in their custody recently.
The three accused persons, Ahmed Bello, Bello Kagara, and Mohammed Bello Abdullahi were said to be attached to the Armed Squad of the Nigeria Prisons Service at the old Prisons, Minna, when the crime was committed.
They were alleged to have conspired with Idris Isah, a prison warder on court duty at the Magistrate’s Court 6 Minna on April 10, 2012 when the suspects escaped at the court premises and that they conspired to illegally produce the five armed robbery suspects facing trial at the court without the instruction of the court.
The robbery suspects were Peter Okpara, Yusuf Adamu (aka Dan), Lamir Usman (aka Dan Zamfara), Abdulmalik Mohammed (aka Uba) and one Musa Yusuf, all standing trial and remanded in prison custody for criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Niger state Police Command, ASP Richard Oguche, told journalists that the prison officers were being prosecuted because they had, without the instruction of the court, deliberately produced the fleeing five awaiting trials armed robbery suspects and deliberately abandoned them in the open court premises before going to unknown destination.
According to Oguche, when the five armed robbery suspects discovered that the prison warder on guard had left the court premises, they descended on the police prosecutor in the court and beat him to coma after which they escaped.
Police investigation shows that there was an agreement between the prisons warders and the suspects to escape after being produced in the court, he said, assuring that efforts were on to re-arrest the fleeing suspects.