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Over 100 Inmates Escape Nigerian Prison Amid Heavy Rains

A TUMULTUOUS night in Suleja near the Nigerian capital saw over 100 inmates break free from prison after heavy rains battered the facility, causing significant damage, a spokesperson for the prison service confirmed.

According to spokesperson Adamu Duza, the relentless downpour wreaked havoc on the medium-security prison, breaching the perimeter wall and impacting surrounding structures. ‘We are in hot chase to recapture the rest,’ Duza stated as service agents, in collaboration with other security agencies, intensified efforts to apprehend the fugitives.

While 10 escapees have been successfully recaptured, Duza urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity related to the fleeing inmates. ‘The public is further enjoined to look out for the fleeing inmates and report any suspicious movement to the nearest security agency,’ he emphasised.

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Despite the absence of specific details regarding the identities or affiliations of the escaped prisoners, concerns have arisen due to previous instances of holding members of the Boko Haram insurgent group within Suleja prison.

Prison breaks have become a recurring security challenge in Nigeria, attributed to overcrowding, underfunding, and lax security measures within correctional facilities. The issue was brought into sharp focus by the brazen July 2022 attack on a high-security prison in the capital Abuja, resulting in the liberation of approximately 440 inmates.

Acknowledging the vulnerabilities of outdated prison infrastructure, Duza underscored the urgent need for modernisation efforts within the Nigerian correctional system. ‘The Service is not unmindful of the fact that many of its facilities were built during the colonial era, and that they are old and weak,’ he stated, highlighting ongoing initiatives to revamp existing facilities and construct new ones, including six 3,000-capacity prisons.

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