Nigeria: Mass Jailbreak After Storm Damage

Mass Jailbreak in Nigeria After Storm Damage

Over 100 Prisoners Escape Amidst Weak Infrastructure Concerns.

In a recent incident near Nigeria’s capital, more than 100 prisoners broke free from the Suleja Prison following severe damage caused by heavy rains to the facility and its perimeter fence. Authorities report that 118 inmates initially fled, with 10 of them having been recaptured since then.

A joint effort involving the prison authorities and other security agencies has been launched to track down the remaining escapees, although their identities remain undisclosed. Concerns have arisen regarding the potential danger posed by some of these fugitives.

The prison management issued a statement urging the public to continue their daily activities without fear, emphasizing their collaboration with sister security agencies to apprehend the escapees. The aging infrastructure of many prisons, some dating back to the colonial era, has been highlighted as a contributing factor to such incidents.

The recent heavy rainfall, marking the onset of the rainy season following a period of intense heat, exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the prison. This event comes in the wake of a warning by Nigeria’s meteorological agency about anticipated heavy rains and flooding in certain states.

This escape mirrors a similar event two years ago when over 400 prisoners fled following an attack on a different prison in Abuja, resulting in casualties among inmates, guards, and attackers. Islamist fighters claimed responsibility for that incident, aiming to liberate their comrades.

Nigeria has witnessed over 5,000 prison escapes since 2020, drawing attention to issues of overcrowding, inadequate facilities, and prolonged pre-trial detention periods. Many inmates languish in prison without being convicted of any crimes, underscoring systemic challenges within the country’s justice system.

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