Charles Okah, a brother of Henry Okah, jailed leader of the Movement For The Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), is still in prison, according to Francis Enobore, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Prison Service. SaharaReporters had reported earlier today that Mr. Okah was one of the escapees from Kuje Prison in Abuja.
A prison inmate had informed SaharaReporters that Mr. Okah, who is on trial in Abuja for the 2010 Independence Day bombing that killed 27 people, escaped last night by simply scaling the prison walls of the prison around 7:30 p.m. Nigerian time. Our informant also added that Mr. Okah escaped along with another prison inmate.
However, a prison source has clarified that the two men who escaped are Maxwell Ojukwu from Delta State and Solomon Amodu who is from Kogi State. The source added that the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) had commenced a massive manhunt to find and re-arrest the two men.
Charles Okah’s brother and MEND leader, Henry Okah, is serving a 24-year jail sentence in South Africa after he was convicted of masterminding terrorist activities in Nigeria.
Mr. Enobore earlier confirmed the jailbreak to SaharaReporters, but said he was not yet aware of the identities of those involved. However, he told our correspondent that the NPS had begun an investigation to discover what happened.
An inmate at the prison told SaharaReporters that security was unusually lax at the high-profile prison and that soldiers stationed outside the prison did not act when they were told of the escape. SaharaReporters learned that the escapees scaled a fence behind the church at the prison.
One of our sources disclosed that the Comptroller General of the NPS and the Federal Capital Territory commander of the NPS visited the prison today. However, Mr. Okah’s whereabouts remained a mystery since several sources at the prison confirmed he had not been brought back to his cell. One inmate told SaharaReporters that there were rumors circulating that Mr. Okah was in the prison clinic.
Another source at the prison said Mr. Okah was being interrogated to find out if he was involved in any way in the prison break.
Prison spokesperson, Mr. Enobore, told SaharaReporters he was on his way to the prison in Kuje to ascertain things for himself before issuing a statement.