You would think that prison breaks happens in the movies or in the abroad but here in Nigeria, convicts and exconvicts have had their share of prison breaks whether successful or not.
I was actually wondering how it happens here, wondering if was well planned and executed or shabby as always but i think most of it is as a result of the bad prison systems we have in the country.
Let’s talk about the Michael Scoffields of Nigeria, if there are any.
The Jailbreak in Minna
Recently, during the pandemic and lockdown brouhaha, the premium reported about a jail break in Minna which was confirmed by the police in Niger State that 219 prisoners escaped at the Minna Medium Security Prison on Sunday night.
The break was executed by armed attackers who stormed the place. Unfortunately, about 19 out of 219 prisoners were rearrested.
Corona prison break
Just April this year, 4 convicted inmates in a Kaduna state prison died from injuries sustained while attempting to escape from the facility.
Most times fear kills faster than death itself, these inmates attempted to escape from the prison over fears of an alleged suspected case of coronavirus amongst them while the ones left staged a protest, demanding their freedom to avoid contracting the coronavirus
The Abuja DSS attack.
The handler, always doing his job, feeding prisoners, went in to serve them breakfast, on returning to his office, he was disarmed by an insurgent in the prison who hit him on the head with his handcuff (his funny attempt to escape).
This drew the attention of the armed guard who shot in the air to stop the prisoners, although his effort was futile but other army officers came to suppress it.
21 prisoners were killed and 2 governments injured
The Agodi prison break
It’s another breakfast episode of prison escape by some condemned and awaiting trial prisoners at the Agodi Minimum Security Prison in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, way back 2007.
The prison warden wanted to serve the prisoners breakfast as he normally does, immediately he opened the door to the cell they all rushed out with force, beating up the officers in an attempt to release others from their cells.
This prison break was an unsuccessful attempt which led to the death of eight prisoners and left eighteen others injured after the police arrived to manage the prison break which resulted in a clash between them and the prisoners.
What an attempt!
The Ekiti prison break
The attack at the federal prison Afao road, Ado Ekiti caused the death of 1 warder and 20 sniffer dogs while 341 prisoners escaped.
The break carried out by 60 unknown gun men in 2014 led to the escape of some prisoners who were awaiting trial while 10 inmates were captured during the gunfire exchange between the gunmen and police, 67 inmates were rearrested after the attack but 274 inmates were reported to have escaped.
Like the prodigal son, one inmate who claimed to have run away when he heard gunshots, returned to the prison to serve out his short sentence.
Edo prison break
This happened far back in August 2004 at the federal maximum security prison at Oko in Benin City when unknown gunmen who used explosives to blow off the prison gate, came to rescue their members who are largely condemn inmates.
These ones went the badass as usual but I was expecting some broomstick way but only about 12 prisoners escaped from the prison, No death or severe injuries were recorded.
Minna prison break
Unknown gunmen, suspected to be armed robbers freed about 270 inmates and injured 1 security officer, they also looted weapons and bullet-proof vest of the Nigerian Prisons Services in December 2014 a week after the Ekiti prison break.
The escaped prisoners were mostly gang of armed robbers awaiting trial, one of them was a notorious armed robbers in the prison called Osama.
At the end of the day, about 108 of the escaped prisoners were rearrested.
Flood break in Kogi
In 2019, 228 inmates escaped after the Koton Karfe custodial centre in Kogi collapsed under heavy flooding.
It submerged the perimeter fence and the walls of two cells that made it easy for inmates to escape but over 100 of the inmates were re-arrested, some returned on their own while some reported themselves at nearby police stations as at that time.
Thank God for the Nigerian Police force and Nigerian Prison service for their timely interventions in most of these cases.
The prison system in Nigeria needs a total improvement; the living conditions are gory sights and needs structured reform process using international reform template as a yard stick