Jailbreaks: Unarmed inmates fleeing shouldn’t be killed, says Adegboruwa

Adegboruwa

A member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has said unarmed inmates fleeing after an invasion of a correctional centre should not be killed.

He said this in a statement on Monday, titled, ‘The Jail Break And Killings In Jos,’ in reaction to the invasion of the Jos Correctional Centre by criminal elements.

The attack led to the death of an officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service and nine inmates.

Reacting, Adegboruwa lamented that eight of the inmates who died during the attack were gunned down, saying taking advantage of the invasion to escape shouldn’t warrant their death.

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He said, “Yesterday, we were all alarmed watching the invasion of the Jos Correctional Centre by criminal elements masquerading as unknown gunmen. They bombarded the facility, apparently with the sole aim of freeing some of the inmates.

“In the course of the mindless attack, some brave security men were injured and killed. There are enough provisions in our laws for anyone dissatisfied with any process to ventilate their grievances without resorting to violence. I sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives in defending our nation and condemn the unwarranted attack on the correctional centre.

“It, however, came to light that at least eight of the inmates were killed while trying to escape. The Commandant said in an interview that “they were gunned down while fleeing.” The inmates were not the ones that attacked the facility but were most probably trying to take undue advantage of the opportunity of the attack to escape. That should not warrant their death.”

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He said the right to life is sacrosanct, both on the part of the warders and also the inmates, adding that no one should be killed extra judicially except and in accordance with a process sanctioned by law.

“So if some unarmed inmates are feeling to escape, the appropriate thing would be to stop their advancement through the use of minimal force but certainly not to kill them for attempting to escape.

“I, therefore, urge the President and Commander in Chief to get all security agencies to respect the rights of citizens and to embrace appropriate rules of engagement in dealing with crisis situations.

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“We have too many cases of extrajudicial killings in our land presently, especially in places like the South East where people are reported to be missing almost or on a daily basis,” he said.

PUNCH.

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