Skip to main content

EXCLUSIVE: How Terrorists Attacked Kuje Prison With Massive Firepower, Preached For 20 Minutes, Gave Us Transport Fare And Ordered Us To Leave – Escaped Inmate

Speaking to SaharaReporters exclusively, Adamu Eli narrated how the terrorists came in large numbers.

One of the inmates who fled Kuje Correctional Centre after the prison facility was attacked Tuesday night has spoken about the attack, how inmates were freed by terrorists and why he has decided to turn himself in.


Speaking to SaharaReporters exclusively, Adamu Eli narrated how the terrorists came in large numbers.


Eli, alongside 49 others, who are currently standing trial on charges bordering on illegal possession of firearms, was moved to the Kuje Correctional Centre from the Yola Prison a fortnight ago.


He said, "The night of the attack was frightening; rattling gunfire, loud bangs of explosives surrounded the building.


"It was practically difficult to resist those guys, they came in with all kinds of firepower; chanting 'Allahuakbar'!

[story_link align="left"]111453[/story_link]

"After pulling down parts of the wall, the terrorists came in and boldly preached Islam to us for like 20 minutes, distributed transportation fare, clothes to us and ordered us to leave.

[story_link align="left"]111451[/story_link]

"Like me, those of us who were moved in from Yola, initially never wanted to leave the facility, but on second thought, we reasoned they may get provoked and kill us if we refuse to obey their orders.

[story_link align="left"]111441[/story_link]

"I fled to Zuba, later I relocated to Mararaba, near Abuja, where we converged; there I informed fellow inmates that we have to return to Kuje before the authorities would start hunting for us.

[story_link align="left"]111436[/story_link]

"So immediately after now, we'll be going back to Kuje because we know we're innocent of the charges brought against us and we have confidence in the justice system; we'll be vindicated at the end of the trial.”


"We have to move fast, more so that we left one of us, Ayuba, there because he's been sick for days and was too weak to run with us," he added.

[story_link align="left"]111393[/story_link]

Eli and 49 other inmates, who have been in detention for eight years were discharged by Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court in Yola, after five years of prosecution.

[story_link align="left"]111398[/story_link]

Anka discharged them after ruling on 'a no-case submission' in their favour. They were, however, rearrested and charged with the same offence, according to their counsel, Barrister Daniel Danladi.


"The prosecution knowing what the outcome of the ruling on our 'no-case submission' will be like, they filed another case, charged the same people standing trial; which is an abuse of court process, because you cannot stand trial in two cases having the same elements, the same ingredients. In law, this amounts to double Jeopardy.


"So, they arranged with the DSS (Department of State Services) and made a siege to the court to forcibly take them from the court so that they can stand another trial.


"Now the position of the law is very clear, DSS is not supposed to be involved in this kind of case. They're not in any way made for this kind of arrest. But it seems they were getting orders from above; I learnt that it was on the orders of the Attorney General of the Federation (Abubakar Malami)," Danladi said.


On Wednesday, the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, known as the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in a video claimed responsibility for the attack.


In the video, the terrorist sect showed some of its men shooting their way into the facility.


Though the Nigeria Correction Service’s spokesperson, Umar Abubakar, said one Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel and four inmates died during the incident, a source told SaharaReporters that 10 inmates were killed during the incident.


Another source also dismissed the claim by the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, that 64 Boko Haram members escaped, saying that over 201 members of the group were unaccounted for.


“A total of 879 inmates escaped from the facility during the unfortunate attack. As of the time of this report, 443 have been recaptured, 551 inmates are currently in custody, 443 inmates are still at large, 4 inmates are dead and 16 inmates sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at the moment. However, efforts are ongoing to recapture all fleeing inmates,” NCS spokesperson had said.


“The Service will deploy its Corrections Information Management System in synergy with National Identity Management Commission to track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody.”