Nigerians wonder how Kirikiri inmate got phone to threaten Osinbajo’s daughter, innocent people

An illustrative photograph

By Oluwafemi Popoola

There are concerns and unanswered questions surrounding an inmate in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos State, alleged to be in illegal possession of a mobile phone which has been linked to an attempt on the life of one of the daughters of Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

According to an online platform that broke the story on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, it reported that the Department of State Services (DSS) had deployed its operatives to the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos to trail a suspected prison inmate who had earlier issued a “serious threat” on the life of VP Osinbajo’s daughter.

“The DSS has been there since Sunday evening and of course, their presence has brought about some panic.

“The officers believe the person they are looking for is in one of the cells or somewhere around the prison,” quoting an online publication source.

In most jurisdictions, prison inmates are forbidden from possessing mobile phones due to their ability to communicate with the outside world and other security issues.

Also, security concerns are often cited as why cell phones are prohibited in prisons.

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However, it is not yet clear how the prison authorities could be “negligent” by putting Nigerians’ lives at risk, letting criminals gain access to mobile phones inside the prison cell to the extent of threatening other people’s lives, this was the summary of concerns raised by Nigerians reacting on social media as the news broke out on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

They wondered that the latest in the threat to the lives of the relations of high-ranking Nigerians is the daughter of the country’s number-two man, Vice President Osinbajo.

The concerned Nigerians raised questions on how an inmate would have access to a mobile phone in prison, such as sophisticated ones that could even be tracked by security agents.

The also raised question, as could it be that was how inmates coordinated the last Kuje Prison jailbreak that led to the escape of hardened criminals and the death of others.

Also, whether the Kuje prison attack was coordinated by some inmates who may have been in possession of cell phones.

Reacting to the story on social media, many took to their Twitter handles responding to the viral news and expressed their worry on the development wondering how some prison inmates got access to mobile phones to the extent of having the temerity to threaten the daughter of Vice President Osinbajo.

Below are some of the comments

“The prison authorities must be firm in enforcing that no inmates should be found with mobile phones. How can an inmate have access to phones in a Nigerian prison to the extent of threatening people’s lives? Very unfortunate.”

“May God have mercy on us in this country, how could an inmate still be threatening the country? The question is how do they have access to phones in the first place?”

“The prison authorities are culpable. I rem similar thing occur during the 2016 Kuje prison riot when it was said that the inmates resisted some warders who were on a search raid for prohibited items but later discovered that the items were brought in by some warders after being tipped”

“What is going on in our prison system? This is becoming embarrassing. I think FG needs to seriously hold the prison authorities accountable. first series of jailbreak and this.”

Recall that investigations confirmed that the 2016 Kuje prison riot was instigated by convicts, who refused to allow warders to carry out a search on their cells for prohibited items.

It was later gathered that during the search, 25 mobile phones were recovered from a suspected Boko Haram inmate while some substances suspected to be cannabis were also uncovered in some cells and confiscated.