By Faith Nyasuguta
Three days after 240 prisoners escaped from a prison in Central Nigeria, about 108 have been recaptured, cutting short their highly desired freedom.
Heavily armed gunmen had on late Sunday stormed the Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, in Kogi State, setting free dozens of inmates. It is said that some guards were injured in the attack at about midnight.
It is still unclear who the gunmen are but for years now, criminal gangs have terrorized central and northwest Nigeria.
“We have a total of 108 inmates rearrested,” Francis Enobore Nigeria’s correctional service spokesman revealed via phone.
“But as the day progresses, the figure will definitely increase,” he added, saying “several processes have been activated to ensure all inmates are rearrested.”
In a Sunday statement, the spokesman had said in a statement that several attackers had at about 2245 GMT on Sunday “engaged the armed guards in a fierce gun battle.”
During the invasion into the prison, the facility had some 294 prisoners in custody, including 224 pre-trial detainees.
Further, two people, a soldier, and a police officer lost their lives. Large prison outbreaks are a common thing in Nigeria.
Earlier this year on April 5, bandits raided Owerri police headquarters, in Nigeria’s southern Imo state and set free over 1,800 inmates.
Nigeria is not only fighting criminal gangs who also kidnap people for ransom and rustle cattle but the Nigerian security forces are also facing a violent jihadist insurgency in the northeast and separatist agitation in the southeast.