BREAKING: 118 inmates escape as rainstorm destroys Niger prison

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In a recent development, a heavy rainstorm that struck the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Suleja, Niger State, on Wednesday night resulted in extensive damage to the facility, enabling the escape of 118 inmates. This information was conveyed in a statement issued by Adamu Duza, the spokesperson for the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service, on Thursday.

According to Duza, the downpour caused significant harm to the custodial centre’s infrastructure, including breaching the perimeter fence, which facilitated the inmates’ escape. In response, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) promptly initiated recapturing protocols and collaborated with other security agencies, successfully recovering 10 of the escaped inmates. Efforts to recapture the remaining fugitives are ongoing.

Acknowledging the vulnerability of aging prison facilities, many of which date back to the colonial era, Duza affirmed the NCoS’s commitment to modernizing its infrastructure. The Controller of Corrections, FCT Command, Francis John, assured the public that the situation was under control and encouraged them to continue their daily activities without fear.

The public was urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or sightings of escaped inmates to the nearest security agency.

Meanwhile, the United States has highlighted the significant challenge of overcrowding in Nigerian prisons in its ‘2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria.’ The report, published on its website on Tuesday, revealed that numerous correctional facilities were grappling with a staggering 50 percent increase in the number of inmates beyond their intended capacity, indicating a systemic issue. Additionally, it noted that some prisons, with histories dating back 70 to 80 years, struggled to meet even the most basic living standards.

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