‘Historic’ Gambia prison break: negligence blamed as 23 escape

Gambia_Police
Gambia Police

Police in the Gambia have confirmed the arrest of six prison guards in connection with a prison break last week. Authorities meanwhile continue to hunt for the 23 escapees.

Police Spokesperson Superintendent David Kujabi told local media that the officials are being held for their role in the escape of inmates.

The incident took place at the remand wing of the Jeshwang prisons and has been described as the worst in the country’s history.

The local Point news portal quoted the Prisons spokesperson Spt. Momodou Lamin Ceesay, who told them in an exclusive interview that negligence was largely to blame for the incident.

“At least if there was push and pull between the prisoners and the officers on duties which may result in the injury of the officers on duty, we will have known that they have tried their level best in arresting them before they escape.

“The officers are currently detained and helping us on our investigation. They not yet charge but they will be disciplined through the Prison Act,” he is quoted to have said.

The prisoners are said to have escaped through the roof of the holding facility. “We have to understand that these are old building that needs massive renovation and they have been there since the colonial time,” he stated

Of the 23 prisoners that escaped, 9 of them are said to be juveniles while the other 14 were adults. One of them have since been arrested.

According to him, all the adult prisoners were jailed in connection with possession of drugs, assaults cases, threatening violence, house breaking, conspiracy to commit felony and robbery. A rape related inmate is the highest case of an inmate escapee.