At least 900 inmates escaped during the attack on Kuje Prison, Abuja last night, a credible source told Daily Trust this morning.
Residents had told Daily Trust how they heard sounds of explosives and gunshots from the direction of the prison around 10pm on Tuesday.
- Explosion, gunshots around Kuje Prison
- Abba Kyari begs court for bail after escaping murder in Kuje Prison
A civil defence official was killed and many officials of the correctional facility and other security operatives were injured during the attack.
“The Kuje prison has been compromised with explosives by the invading terrorist.They stormed the facility around 10.05 pm. They were heavily armed. At least 900 inmates escaped,” he said.
The source, who said the facility had over 1,000 inmates at the time of the attack, disclosed that 60 of the escapees have been arrested.
“The invaders used dynamites and destroyed the heavily fortified facility, including the Central Terrorism Unit (CTU), freeing all the terrorists there,” the source said.
The attackers reportedly ran out of dynamites after operating for two hours.
In a statement, spokesperson of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Umar Abubakar, said the armed squad of the service in collaboration with other security agencies responded to the attack.
“I wish to confirm that at about 2200hrs, some yet-to-be-identified gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, in the Federal Capital Territory.
“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.
“Other details will be made available soon,” he said.
Nigeria has recorded multiple jail breaks under the current administration, but this is the first major attack on a prison in the nation’s capital under President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2016, there was a riot at Kuje Prison but the situation was brought under control.
Tuesday’s attack happened hours after the convoy of the advance team of Buhari was attacked in Katsina.
In yet another incident, bandits gunned down an Assistant Police Commissioner, still in Katsina.
Nigeria is currently witnessing one of its worse forms of insecurity in history. Virtually all the regions of the country have peculiar security challenges.
From banditry to insurgency and kidnapping.