More than 100 prisoners on the run after heavy rainfall destroys part of prison in Nigeria

More than 100 prisoners have escaped from a medium security prison in Nigeria after heavy rainfall destroyed part of the facility, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) said in a press release on Thursday.

A total of 118 inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centres in Suleja, Niger state, fled the prison on Wednesday night, though 10 of the escaped inmates have been captured and taken into custody, the NCS said.

Parts of the prison facility, surrounding buildings and perimeter fence were destroyed by the rain, the NCS said, adding that much of the facility was “old and weak” and “built during the colonial era.”

“The Service wishes to assure the public that it is on top of the situation and that they should go about their businesses without fear or hindrance,” the NCS continued. “The public is further enjoined to look out for the fleeing inmates and report any suspicious movement to the nearest security agency.”

Recurring jailbreaks

Prison breaks are not uncommon in Nigeria which has witnessed a series of jailbreaks in recent years.

In 2022, more than 300 inmates broke free after Boko Haram militants raided a prison in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. Authorities said at the time that some operatives of the jihadist group who had been held in the prison escaped during the raid.

A year earlier, over 200 prisoners fled a prison in the neighboring Kogi State after gunmen invaded the correctional facility, killing a policeman.

Five months before the invasion, more than 2000 inmates escaped during a similar attack by armed men at another prison in the southeastern Imo State. The gunmen used explosives to blast parts of the prison, authorities said.

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