118 Inmates Escape from Nigerian Prison After Heavy Rains Damage Facility

Heavy rains destroy Nigerian prison, leading to the escape of 118 inmates. Authorities recapture 10 so far, but aging infrastructure and security lapses remain a challenge for the country's correctional system.

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Israel Ojoko
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118 Inmates Escape from Nigerian Prison After Heavy Rains Damage Facility

118 Inmates Escape from Nigerian Prison After Heavy Rains Damage Facility

On the night of April 24, 2024, a heavy downpour caused significant damage to the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Suleja, Niger State, Nigeria, leading to the escape of 118 inmates.

The facility's perimeter fence was destroyed, allowing the prisoners to flee. Authorities have recaptured 10 of the escaped inmates so far, and a search is ongoing to recover the remaining prisoners.

The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) immediately initiated recapture efforts, working with security agencies to retrieve the escaped inmates. "The prisons authority has activated a search mechanism to recapture the escaped inmates and is taking measures to secure the facility and rebuild the affected areas," said Adamu Duza, a spokesperson for the NCoS.

The NCoS acknowledged that many of its facilities are old and weak, dating back to the colonial era. "Many of the NCoS facilities were built during the colonial era and are old and weak," Duza stated. The service is making efforts to replace aging infrastructure with modern facilities and renovate existing ones to address issues of overcrowding and inadequate security measures that have led to similar prison breakouts in the country.

Why this matters: The Suleja prison break highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Nigeria's correctional system, which has seen thousands of inmates escape in recent years due to weak infrastructure and security lapses. Addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining public safety and ensuring the effective rehabilitation of offenders.

The Controller of Corrections for the Federal Capital Territory Command, Francis John, assured the public that the situation is under control and encouraged them to continue their normal activities while reporting any sightings of the escaped inmates to the authorities. "The public has been assured that the situation is under control and has been urged to report any suspicious movements of the escaped inmates to the nearest security agency," John said.

Key Takeaways

  • 118 inmates escaped Suleja prison in Nigeria due to heavy rain damage.
  • 10 inmates recaptured so far, search ongoing for remaining escapees.
  • Prisons in Nigeria are old and weak, leading to security issues.
  • Authorities working to improve prison infrastructure and security measures.
  • Public urged to report any sightings of escaped inmates to authorities.