FG: Over 600 inmates escaped in Kuje prison attack

On Tuesday evening, explosions and gunshots were heard from the direction of Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Boko Haram terrorists launched a ferocious attack on the correctional center deploying bombs, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), and General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), freeing no less than 600 inmates, including Boko Haram fighters detained at the facility.

This attack that killed six inmates and one security personnel occurred despite an earlier warning by the country’s intelligence service.

Shuaib Belgore, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists at the facility in Abuja.

He said, “There have been several attacks on our facilities, most of them are repelled, but every now and then, they succeed.

“The initial entry attempt was unsuccessful, then they attacked another section of the wall with higher grade explosives which brought the wall down.

“The forces on ground did everything they could to repel them, but the number they came with were high, which they were not able to defend against.

“They kept on fighting gallantly [but] unfortunately the breach happened. Reinforcement came when they were halfway through it. They were eventually repelled. At the time they came in, they killed one NSCDC personnel while trying to save the situation.

“The inmates here are 994. We understand they are Boko Haram terrorists and came specifically for their conspirators. Many of them have returned, some were retrieved from the bushes they were hiding. We have retrieved about 300 out of about 600 that got out of the jail.”

Although the police authorities have yet to issue a formal statement on the matter, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service, AD Umar, said normalcy had been restored after security agencies intervened.

“I wish to confirm that about 2200hrs, some yet-to-be-identified gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje in the Federal Capital Territory,” Umar said.

“However, men of the Armed Squad of the Nigerian Correctional Service and other security agencies attached to the Custodial centre have responded and calm has been restored to the facility and the situation is under control.”

This is not the first time gunmen will attack correctional centres in the country, releasing inmates while killing some security officials.

During an attack on the Owerri prison in Imo State on April 4, 2023, gunmen freed 1,844 prisoners after using explosives to gain entry into the facility.

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