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108 Inmates on the Run in Nigeria

More than 5,000 inmates have escaped during prison breaks in Nigeria since 2020.

More than 100 prisoners have escaped from a jail near Nigeria’s capital after heavy rain damaged part of the facility where they were housed.

According to the authorities, 118 inmates originally fled the Suleja Prison but 10 have since been re-captured.

A manhunt has been launched to find the others.

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The identity of the prisoners is unclear at this point but there are fears that some might be dangerous.

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However, a statement from the prison said they were working with other security agencies and that people should go about their normal activities without any fear.

“In conjunction with sister security agencies [we] have so far recaptured 10 fleeing inmates and taken them into custody, while we are in hot chase to recapture the rest,” said a statement from Abuja’s prison authority.

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It pointed out that many of the prison facilities in Suleja, about 50km (30 miles) from Abuja were built during the colonial era and therefore have become old and weak. 

Wednesday’s downpour came at the start of the rainy season following a recent heatwave.

Nigeria’s meteorological agency recently released a warning of heavy rains and flooding in some states.

Two years ago more than 400 prisoners escaped following a raid on another prison in Abuja.

Four inmates, a security guard and several attackers were killed after the prison was targeted, according to officials.

At the time Islamist fighters said they carried out the attack to free some of their members.

More than 5,000 inmates have escaped during prison breaks in Nigeria since 2020.

Many Nigerian prisons are overcrowded and lack basic amenities, although authorities say they are working to fix the issues. Many inmates have never been convicted of any crimes – they can wait for their trial to start for years on end. One prison recently said that up to 70% of its inmates were awaiting trial.

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