More than 120 mobile phones that belonged to some inmates of the Kumasi Central Prison have been confiscated by the prison authorities in response to last year’s infamous attempted jailbreak in which one inmate was shot dead by a policeman.
The Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr Lord Nii Boye Tagoe, said in Kumasi that the mobile phones facilitated the jailbreak plans as the inmates were able to communicate with friends outside the prison.
The inmates had been outwitting the security officers by hiding the phones on their bodies while returning from court or official labour outside the prison.
Some prison officers are suspected of aiding the inmates by smuggling the phones and other prohibited items to them in their cells.
Mr Tagoe made this known at a memorial service held by the Kumasi Central Prison to commemorate the first anniversary of the attempted jailbreak in Kumasi.
The event was used to take stock of the activities of the Kumasi Central Prison and reflect on what happened a year ago and how the authorities could prevent the recurrence of the attempted jailbreak.
Exactly a year ago, some inmates of the Kumasi Central Prison sounded the alarm of a fire which had gutted the yard and while officers tried to put out the fire, some of the inmates attempted to break jail.
A combined team from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the military and the police came in handy to contain the jailbreak.
An inmate was shot dead when he attempted to snatch a rifle from a policeman.
Subsequently, the Ghana Prisons Service put a freeze on the promotion of 24 officers who were on duty during the attempted jail break based on recommendations made by an investigative committee set up by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ghana Prisons Service to look into the matter.
The affected officers were first given queries, and based on the answers they provided, they were charged.
Mr Tagoe, who is the Ashanti Regional Commander of the Kumasi Central Prison, said after an in-house trial, those found culpable would be dealt with according to the service laws.
He attributed the ability of some of the inmates to beat the checkpoint to lack of scanners at the entrance and gave an assurance that close circuit television (CCT) cameras would be fixed at strategic locations in the prison next month to help expose any form of wrongdoing by the officers and the inmates.
He cautioned the officers to be mindful of the repercussions of their actions and avoid falling foul of the law.
The regional commander mentioned that 52 of the cell gates had been replaced with iron bars to prevent any security lapses.
A lecturer at the Kumasi Polytechnic, Rev. Fr Kingsley Osei Bonsu, advised the inmates to be obedient to the prison authorities for them to live in peaceful co-existence with other convicts.
He urged them to use their incarceration to ponder over their past lives and reform before their re-integration into society.