Nigeria Prison Services has explained the reasons behind their inability to transport five Boko Haram suspects to court on Tuesday, November 17, for commencement of hearing on a case against them.
Speaking to newsmen, the spokesperson of the Nigeria prison Francis Enobore said the fuel scarcity in the country was the reason why the suspects failed to appear before the court.
Enobore said: “I got your inquiry on the inability of our officials to bring suspects in court due to lack of fuel; yes, that was what happened. It is quite unfortunate that the development came up badly.”
He said that the development was due to the present fuel scarcity in Nigeria and not because of lack of funding.
He however said that such a situation has never been the case with transporting inmates to courts.
Also, when newsmen inquired possible measures the prison authority is taking to avoid a recurrence, Enobore said: “You see, there are things that are important to us with respect to security and fuel is one of these items. The fact is we do not have a dump, and we do not even encourage establishing a dump in any of our facilities for very obvious reasons.”
He said with the caliber of suspects kept in most of the facilities across the country, a fuel dump is inadvisable.
“We know what they are capable of doing, so there are things we do not keep around them at all for security reasons,” he said.
He added that the little fuel left in the facility’s generator was turned into one of the operational vehicles of the prison services.
“In fact, the officer in charge of the location, facility in Kuje where the suspects were supposed to have been taken had to turn the fuel from the generator into one of the vehicles that took some inmates another court yesterday, the situation got that bad,” he said.
He added that it will be difficult to state that next time the facility will store fuel in tanks or any other unconventional means for use in vehicles or generators for electricity.
Meanwhile, the new minister of petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu has ordered the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPP) to seal off fuel stations caught hoarding petroleum product and give out the petroleum free to the public.
On Tuesday, November, 17, the hearing of the case against five Boko Haram suspects was stalled at a federal high court in Abuja.
The prosecuting counsel M.S Diri told the court that the suspects could not be brought in due to lack of fuel in the operational vehicles of the Nigeria prison service expected to transport the suspects.
Diri standing in for the police said his client (the police) will on next adjourned date take sole responsibility of transporting the suspects in a better condition to the court.
The case was adjourned to December 17 for commencement of hearing.