More than 600 prisoners were released after a large-scale jailbreak attack on the Kuje Correctional Center in Abuja on July 5. Six prisoners and one jail guard were killed during the invasion.
The gunmen opened fire randomly, set up eight bombs, and caused the prison guards to flee for their lives.
They also took their time to give a lesson on the Qur’an before splitting the cost of transportation with their released members. Later, the attack’s perpetrator, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), took credit for it.
President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his regret in response to the nearly two-hour-long jailbreak and criticised the nation’s entire intelligence structure.
However, this is not the first time that his administration has seen a fatal jailbreak. Records of similar attacks are provided here.
KOTON/KARFE, NSUKA ATTACKS
13 prisoners broke out of the Koton/Karfe Correctional Centre in Kogi State on July 29, 2016.
Security personnel were only able to apprehend one of the detainees after the prisoners forcibly tore down a portion of the prison wall before fleeing the premises.
At least 15 prisoners at the Nsukka Correctional Centre in Enugu State escaped their cells and scaled the perimeter fence a few weeks after the Koton Karfe attack as attackers struck once more. On August 9, 2016, he did so. After the event, security personnel only rearrested two prisoners.
IKOT EKPENE, MINNA ATTACKS
The Ikot Ekpene Correctional Facility in Akwa Ibom State saw a violent breakout on December 27, 2017, during which 36 prisoners fled.
According to reports, the inmates used an axe they allegedly wrested from a kitchen staff to attack prison guards.
In the end, 36 prisoners got away from the prison. Four people lost their lives in the tragedy, but seven prisoners were apprehended by law authorities.
Similar to that, on June 3, 2018, armed men broke into the Medium Security Correctional Facility in Tunga, Minna, Niger State. More than 200 prisoners were released during the jail breach.
In the end, security personnel were only able to recapture 28 convicts.
BENIN, OKITIPUPA ATTACKS
In Benin, the capital of Edo State, during the #EndSARS demonstration in October 2020, hoodlums totaling over 100 launched coordinated raids on the city’s Benin and Oko prisons, busted cells open, and released a number of prisoners.
The thugs gathered as early as 7 am before beginning the attack, building bonfires and obstructing traffic. 1,993 inmates from both institutions fled during the jailbreak.
One of the prisoners who had escaped from Oko prison a short while later traveled to his village to murder a witness who had testified against him in court.
Only 207 people turned themselves up or were rearrested two weeks following the incident.
Another group of thugs broke into the National Correctional Service Facility in Okitipupa, Ondo State, on October 22, 2020. They tore down the prison’s walls and released 58 inmates.
Along with burning many automobiles and injuring numerous officials, the thugs also set fire to the headquarters of the local administration and the police force. They were rumored to have taken many police guns during the assault as well.
A squad of troops and jail personnel successfully repulsed an attempted break-in at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in Lagos that same day.
OWERRI, KABBA ATTACKS
On April 5, 2021, gunmen assaulted the Owerri Custodial Center in Imo State using bombs and dynamite, liberating 1,884 prisoners. The operation in the attack, which has been called one of the worst in the nation’s history, lasted from 1 am to 3 am.
According to the jail administration, 600 prisoners were either rearrested or returned to the facility following the assault.
On September 12, 2021, unidentified attackers also broke into the Kabba, Kogi State, Medium Security Custodial Center, engaging the armed guards in a bloody gunfight.
More than 240 prisoners were freed and two jail guards were slain thanks to the armed men’s superior weaponry. Security organisations reported that they had rearrested 114 detainees after the incident.
Unknown attackers broke into the Abologo Custodial Center in Oyo State on October 22, 2021, liberating 837 detainees in the process.
Security personnel only succeeded in recapturing 252 detainees after launching a manhunt to pursue the escaping inmates.
The Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos, Plateau State, underwent another attack on November 28, 2021, when armed men raided the jail and freed 262 detainees after four inmates escaped from its grounds in July 2021. Ten prisoners and one security officer died in the devastating attack.
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