One Year After Kuje Prison Break, Nigerian Government Still Hunts for Over 400 Escapees

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It was reported on October 4, 2022, that 422 inmates who escaped from the correctional facility were yet to be recaptured.

No fewer than 400 inmates that escaped from the Kuje Medium Security Correctional Centre in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the July 5, 2022 jailbreak attack were still missing one year after.

It was reported on October 4, 2022, that 422 inmates who escaped from the Correctional facility were yet to be recaptured.

It will be recalled that 879 inmates, including 64 high-profile Boko Haram terrorists fled the facility during the jailbreak. Hours after, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to media reports, between July 15 and October 3, 2022, no fewer than 32 out of the 454 escapees have been recaptured.

However, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Abubakar Umar, who spoke to Premium Times, revealed that 415 inmates had been recaptured and the search was still ongoing to apprehend over 400 escapees.

Umar explained that a lot of things had changed after the “unfortunate Kuje incident,” adding that the service is taking all security measures to prevent future “occurrence of that ugly incident.”

He said, “There is more robust collaboration than you can ever think of now between the correctional services and other security agencies.”

He noted that President Bola Tinubu had also given orders to service chiefs that he wants to form a team. “As I speak to you now, all security agencies are on the same page because we are talking about national security and national safety.”

Former Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had ordered a probe of the remote and immediate causes of the Kuje attack.
The NCoS spokesperson said the investigation has been concluded but details will not be made public.

“It’s a security document that should not be revealed,” Mr Umar said, adding, “We won’t reveal any information that will be a security threat to the rest of the citizens.”

Umar however, noted new security measures had been taken to ensure that such incident will not repeat in any of their facilities. According to him after the Kuje attack, the correction services have taken drastic security measures and it’ll be very difficult to carry out prison attacks.

He said the service has provided uninterrupted electricity in the Kuje prison as well as other facilities.

“In the past, we had issues of power outage but as I speak to you now, the service has installed solar energy within and outside the facility twenty-four hours seven days. Secondly, the facility walls that enemies of the state infiltrated have been raised. We put more blocks to put the wall up,” Umar said.

“We have also installed technology in Kuje and all of our facilities. It’s called E-correction. We have commissioned a national situation room at the national headquarters in Abuja where we can monitor our nationwide facilities from the situation room. This technology will help us to monitor what’s happening 200 metres away from the facilities. We are monitoring not just the inmate but any suspicious movement around the facility.

“Furthermore, we had one perimeter wall before the Kuje attack, but as of today, we are constructing a second perimeter wall that’s almost at a completion stage. We are increasing our surveillance not only in Kuje but across all our facilities in the country,” he added.
“Anybody that attempts to defile our facility is only making a death wish for himself. The service has also provided additional barricade on the way to Kuje prison,” Umar said.

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