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Identities, Photos Of Boko Haram Top Commanders That Escaped During Terrorist Attack On Kuje Prison

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

SaharaReporters has obtained photos and identities of some top Boko Haram commanders who escaped during Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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

Boko Haram Top Commanders

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

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Though the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi claimed that 64 Boko Haram members escaped, security sources told SaharaReporters that over 201 members of the group were unaccounted for.

“The prison management and Nigerian government are playing down the numbers of Boko Haram inmates for some reasons.

“Over 200 escaped not 64 as claimed. There were over 150 of them in that facility before, so they brought 46 from Kogi State after the Kanna Jailbreak. They were transferred to Kuje about 5 months back,” a top security source told SaharaReporters.

“Then another set of Ansaru members arrested by the police from Nasarawa State was taken to Kuje, about 17 of them. They were taken to Kuje around November last year.”

Below are some of the top Boko Haram Leaders that were freed;

Usman Abubakar Muhammad

Popularly know as Abubakar Sa'id. He was said to be the leader of all the Boko Haram inmates in Kuje prison.

Sa’id is the second in command to Khalid al-Barnawi, Ansaru factional leader who bombed the United Nations Headquarters, Abuja.

“He was their leader and very deadly. He doesn't mingle or laugh with other prisoners before the jailbreak,” a prison official told SaharaReporters.

“In fact, as soon as the terrorists arrived, six of them gave Abubakar close body protection as he gives commands and sermons. He was highly respected by those who carried out the attack.”

The source also dismissed the report that al-Barnawi was among the Boko Haram inmates set free by terrorists.

“Khalid is at the DSS headquarters, it was his 2IC called Abubakar that escaped.”

Muhammad Sani Yellow

Muhammad is another notorious commander of the deadly group. He was arrested alongside Abubakar Sa'id in 2012.

Mustafa Umar


Popularly known as Baa Umaru. He was the one who threw explosives into a plaza occupied by Thisday newspaper and two other newspaper publishers in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

The Federal High Court in Abuja in November 2013 sentenced Umar to life imprisonment with hard labour.

He was arrested on April 26, 2013 and taken to court on a one-count charge of terrorism filed by the Nigeria Police Force.

Umar had driven a white Honda Accord car with registration number AL 306 MKA with improvised explosives devices into the premises of SOJ Plaza with the intention to detonate the explosive devices within the premises.

The incident claimed the lives of three persons and caused several degrees of injuries on others.

Isma'i Yusuf

Yusuf was arrested a few years ago. Before his arrest, he was the terror group commander in charge of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

“His left arm was amputated by an explosion at the point of bomb-making before his arrest. He is their top IED manufacturer, very intelligent,” an intelligent officer told SaharaReporters.

Yakubu Abdullahi


Abdullahi was the leader of those who killed prominent Kaduna Islamic cleric, Sheikh Muhamman Auwal Albani Zaria, his wife, and son.

Albani, a Zaria-based Muslim cleric, was murdered on February 1, 2014, while returning from a preaching programme.

The then Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had released a video saying the group was responsible for the murder.

Abdullahi was the sub-regional commander of the Boko Haram group in Kano/Kaduna/Niger state before his arrest.

Some other escaped Boko Haram inmates are identified as Tafseer Salihu, Musa Abubakar and Bilyaminu Usman.

One of the terrorists named Bukar Bukar also escaped but was brought back to prison by his lawyer.