- On Tuesday night, July 5, Scores of gunmen believed to be terrorists bombed the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, Abuja
- During the attack which began around 10:22 pm, the terrorists released 600 inmates, including 15 deadly Boko Haram commanders who masterminded the March 28 attack on the Kaduna-Abuja train at Katari, Kaduna
- Following this move, this piece presents times when prison breaks occurred in Nigeria and other important details
In recent years, prison breaks have always occurred and become a regular event in Nigeria.
Someone can just wake up and hear of such story that gunmen have attacked a prison facility in his or her home state.
Such attacks usually result to fear for many Nigerians as they are not sure authorities can rearrest or capture all the prisoners that managed to escape back into the cell.
Last year, the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola declared that prison commanders make use of every power to defend against internal and external attacks.
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The minister on Friday, April 30, 2021, met with the top officials of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) at their headquarters.
He said all the custodial facilities alias prisons in Nigeria have become a 'red zone'.
The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) is the centre responsible for all prisons in the country.
"The weapons that you carry and the instrument you have is for lawful useto the maximum effect, in order to protect the facilities
Anyone or group of people that decide to attack them (prison) is not supposed to live to regret it," Aregbesola stated.
The minister told the NCoS squadron commanders that their mission is to defend the facilities at all cost, BBC Pidgin reports.
Recent prison attacks in Nigeria
1. Kuje Prison
The Kuje correctional facility in Abuja was the latest prison in Nigeria that suffered an attack.
On Tuesday night, July 5, 2022, Kuje prison suffered gunmen attack in Nigeria's capital Abuja.
Witnesses disclosed they heard loud explosions and gunfire around the prison.
One official of the Nigerian interior ministry said security forces have taken control of the situation and gave no further details.
But reports indicate that some inmates escaped from the facility, it is however not clear who carried out the attack.
2. Kogi jail break
On Sunday, September 12, 2021, unknown gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kabba in Kogi state in Northern Nigeria.
According to reports, heavily armed attackers engaged in a gun duel with the armed guards.
However, the government established Kabba MSCC in 2008 with a capacity of 200.
At the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were in custody out of the 224 that were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.
3. Owerri Prison
In April 2021, gunmen attacked the Owerri prison in Imo state and set fire on the facility and property inside the compound.
This development caused most of the 1,800 plus inmates that were kept there to escape.
4. Edo Prison attack
In October 2020, during the End SARS protests, hoodlums broke into one of the prisons in Benin, Edo state, and released inmates.
The government did not confirm the actual number of inmates that escaped.
Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) explained in a statement what happened that led to the escape of some inmates in southern Nigeria state.
5. Warri prison break
On Thursday 22 October 2020 about the same time in Ikoyi prison attack occurred. Some hoodlums tried to break into Warri Prison along the Okere road in Delta state, southern Nigeria.
The police confirmed to BBC Pidgin that hoodlums attempted jailbreak at the prison in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
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6. Abia jail break
On October 22, 2020, the Afara Umuahia Correctional Centre when the Nigerian Army, police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the armed unit of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, repelled an attempted jailbreak.
7. Bauchi jail break
On April 9, 2021, two officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) at the Bauchi were injured during a riot at the facility.
Five of the inmates were also injured but no inmates escaped.
Other prison breaks that happened
On April 22, 2021, Security officials stopped an attempted jailbreak by inmates of Kurmawa Prison that was located inside the palace of the Emir of Kano.
On October 22, 2021, Abolongo Custodial Centre was attacked and 837 inmates escaped, but the interior ministry disclosed that 262 inmates were recaptured during that period.
On July 19, 2021, Four inmates escaped from the Jos Maximum Prison.
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On November 28, 2021, another jailbreak happened when gunmen break into the medium-security custodial centre.
They freed about 262 inmates and about 10 prisoners died, one security official also died.
On June 4, 2018, Abdulrahman Danbazau that was the then Nigeria Minister of Interior confirmed that 210 inmates escaped from the Minna Maximum Prisons in Niger state, north-central of the country.
The inmates escaped after some people carried out a gun attack at the prison on Sunday 3rd of June night.
'I am concerned and saddened', Atiku reacts, reveals real cause of Kuje prison attack
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, Wednesday, expressed shock over the terrorist attack at the Kuje correctional centre.
Following the Tuesday night, July 5, terrorist attack by individuals believed to be Boko Haram insurgents, at least 600 prisoners fled the Kuje jail in the nation’s capital.
The former vice president Atiku in a post shared on his Facebook page expressed deep concern and worry that the tough criminals who escaped the facility may cause more security issues in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.