Boko Haram fighters have seized control of the prisons in Kuje, an Abuja suburb, freeing hardened criminals into the nation’s capital.
The insurgents stormed the facility at about 10:00 p.m., detonating explosives and opening live rounds on state agents guarding the facility, according to a senior government official.
“Suspected Boko Haram attackers have just seized the prisons from our control,” an official said to our correspondent. “They have destroyed the prison and we don’t know what they plan to do next.”
The facility holds high-profile suspects ranging from disgraced police chief Abba Kyari to infamous terror masterminds.
The official could not immediately elaborate on the unfolding chaos at the prison, which holds suspects ranging from disgraced police chief Abba Kyari to infamous terror masterminds.
“All major, biggest terrorists, armed robbers and kidnappers have escaped,” a top security source told our correspondent.
Residents in the areas have also confirmed hearing loud noises believed to be explosives and gunfire.
Soldiers and other security personnel around the facility reportedly fled when the attackers arrived in “over 1,000 motorcycles,” sources informed our correspondent.
Most of the 700 inmates at the Kuje correctional facility in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory have escaped, Hotmedia.ng has learnt.
Hotmedia.ng also gathered that other inmates have been removed from the facility including the suspended deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari, who was remanded at the prison by a Federal High Court.
Kyari is standing trial for allegedly dealing in cocaine alongside four members of his former police unit, the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Unit (IRT), and two other persons arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, Enugu State, in January this year.
Hotmedia.ng learnt that the facility was ruined by the heavy firepower brought by the assailants.
“The place was completely ruined and all the inmates have left the facility for now, including Abba Kyari,” one of the sources said.
“Most of the inmates have escaped from the facility; it is sad. It houses over 700 inmates,” another source said.
A spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service and the FCT police did not immediately return requests seeking details about the incident late Tuesday.
The attack comes as insecurity inundated President Muhammadu Buhari and his security chiefs. Earlier on Tuesday, the administration confirmed an attack on the president’s convoy in his home Katsina State