Gunmen storm Niger prison, free 270 inmates

Gunmen storm Niger prison, free 270 inmates

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Minna Medium Prison, the capital of Niger State, leading to the escape of at least 270 inmates out of 323 prisoners.

This came barely 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan replaced Aminu Suley, acting Comptroller- General of Prison, with Dr. Ezenwa Ekpendu as substantive Controller-General of Prisons.

It was learnt the gang of 5 armed with weapons stormed the prison and shooting sporadically into the air at about 4:30pm unknown to the prison officials and shot the security guard at the gate, who is currently receiving medical attention at the General Hospital.

They were said to have broken into the prison armoury and made away with some arms as well as into the cells for the 323 inmates to escape, except for 53, who were awaiting trial that remained in their cell. Among them were a pastor and an Engineer.

It was learnt that the attack by those suspected to be armed robbers was to free some convicted robbers and may not be unconnected with the presence of two notorious robbers brought to the prison some few days ago from Kebbi and Edo states.

The two notorious robbers are simply identified as Eze Ego, a Police Mopol officer that was dismissed from service from Kebbi State and the other known as Osama from Edo State.

A resident of the area said they were afraid when they heard gun shots for about 10 minutes that sent people running for cover out of fear for their lives.

Another said: ” I was returning home, when I saw over 200 prisoners running towards the road and when I got to the prison area, I learnt that there was a jail break. I noticed people running out of fear to hide.”

Confirming the development at the prison, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Olusola Amore, told journalists that the police in the state have arrested four out of those that escaped, of which 2 have returned to the prison.

He also said 4 AK 47guns and a Sieana car were recovered and currently in the custody of the police, adding that efforts are on to arrest the prisoners that escaped.

It was further gathered that the heads of security agents in the state have gone to brief the state Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, on the situation.

As at the time of filing this report, additional 8 inmates from those that escaped were caught by officials of the prison and returned back to their cells bringing the total to 12 of those that returned from the initial 270 that ran away.

However, efforts by reporters to get comment from the Assistant Comptroller General of Prisons failed.

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