Kuje: Eight Months After, Over 400 Inmates Still At Large

A total of 460 fleeing inmates from the medium custody facility in Kuje, Federal Capital Territory are yet to be recaptured, Saturday PUNCH learnt.

The names, images, and prison identification numbers of the fleeing inmates who were declared wanted were sighted by our correspondent on Friday on the Nigerian Correctional Service’s website.

However, on the same website, 26 escapees have so far been recaptured.

It will be recalled that over 900 inmates, including 64 high-profile Boko Haram terrorists, fled the facility during a jailbreak on 5 July 2022.

Hours later, the Islamic State in West Africa Province claimed responsibility for the attack and released a video to buttress its claim.

Security operatives later launched a manhunt for the escapees and about 421 were recaptured.

To recapture the others, the Federal Government uploaded their data to the International Criminal Police Organisation’s database.

Also, the names, pictures and other data of the fleeing inmates were circulated to the various security agencies.

Out of the 26 recaptured inmates, 10 were linked with terrorism, 10 were categorised as others, two were said to be sexual offenders, two were jailed for stealing, and two were jailed for robbery and drugs.

Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, a security expert, Kabir Adamu, said the fleeing inmates were a threat to national security.

Adamu added, “For the inmates to escape and come back into the society, it means they will add to the pool of non-state armed groups that are challenging the country either as terrorists or criminals. It is not good for Nigeria to have these criminals outside and sadly, the majority have yet to be recaptured.

“We are not aware that the Nigerian state government has knowledge of where they are and what they are currently doing. Whatever way we look at it, it is not helpful to national security.

However, efforts by our correspondent to reach out to the NCS’ spokesman, Abubakar Umar, proved abortive as he neither picked up his call nor responded to a message sent to him.

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