Eight Months after Kuje Prison Break, over 450 Inmates still at Large

by John Ojewale
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A total of 460 prisoners fleeing a medium custody facility in Kuje, Federal Capital Territory are yet to be rearrested. The names, photos and prison identification numbers of fugitive inmates can be found on the Nigerian Correctional Service website. But so far only 26 refugees have been re-arrested via the same website.

It is recalled that on 5 July 2022, more than 900 of his inmates, including 64 prominent Boko Haram terrorists, escaped from the Kuje facility during a prison break.

Hours later, the Islamic State in West Africa Province claimed responsibility for the attack. They also released a video to back up its claims.

Security forces later launched a search for the fugitives and about 421 were rearrested. To recapture the others, the Federal Government uploaded their data to the International Criminal Police Organisation’s database.

Also, the names, pictures and other data of the fleeing inmates were circulated to the various security agencies.

Out of the 26 recaptured inmates, 10 were linked with terrorism, 10 were categorised as others, two were said to be sexual offenders, two were jailed for stealing, and two were jailed for robbery and drugs.

Speaking with a journalist on Friday, a security expert, Kabir Adamu, said the fleeing inmates were a threat to national security.

Adamu added-

“For the inmates to escape and come back into the society, it means they will add to the pool of non-state armed groups that are challenging the country either as terrorists or criminals. It is not good for Nigeria to have these criminals outside and sadly, the majority have yet to be recaptured.

“We are not aware that the Nigerian state government has knowledge of where they are and what they are currently doing. Whatever way we look at it, it is not helpful to national security.

However, efforts to reach out to the NCS’ spokesman, Abubakar Umar, proved abortive. He neither picked up his call nor responded to messages sent to him.

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