64 Boko Haram suspects escaped from Kuje prison — Defence minister

Minister of defence Bashir Magashi on Wednesday said 64 Boko Haram suspects escaped from the Kuje Custodial Centre after the attack on the facility on Tuesday night.

“The prison is accommodating about 994 inmates, over 600 escaped and many have been recaptured and brought back to the prison,” Magashi told reporters after a tour of the facility.

“Maybe by the close of the day, more will have been captured and returned.

“I think everything is under control and the people who came to do this activity, from the records, we believe they belong to a particular group.

“Most likely, they are Boko Haram members because we have a sizable number of Boko Haram suspects in detention, and presently we cannot locate any of them.

“I think they are about 64 in the prison and none of them is available now, they have all escaped.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) said that four inmates died and 879 escaped during the attack.

NCoS spokesman Abubakar Umar said three personnel of the NCoS were seriously injured.

“A total of 879 inmates escaped from the facility during the unfortunate attack. As at the time of this report, 443 have been recaptured, 551 inmates are currently in custody, 443 inmates are still at large.

“Four inmates are dead and 16 inmates sustained various degree of injuries and are being treated at the moment. However, efforts are ongoing to recapture all fleeing inmates, ” he said.

Umar noted that the NCoS would deploy its information system in synergy with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody.

He also confirmed that DCP Abba Kyari and other VIPs held in the facility did not escape, adding that they are in custody, hale and hearty.