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Kuje Attack: Prisoners to riot as warders declare inmates’ N82m, $36,000 stolen by terrorists

By Paul Michael

Inmates at Kuje Medium and Maximum Security Prison in Abuja are threatening a deadly riot after prison officials declared a large chunk of money kept for the prisoners stolen by the terrorists who attacked the facility on Tuesday night. 

 Sources within the prison said the money had been kept with at least five prison officials, including those manning the commissary, for several months.

“One prison guard told 13 inmates this afternoon that all the money they kept with him had been stolen.

“He bluntly told them that the N26 million is no longer in his possession,” an official told newsmen.

The prison, which is one of the most secured custody facilities in the country, was breached at about 10:00 pm for over two hours by terrorists, leading to the escape of over 1300, which include Boko Haram members.

Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi, said only a few inmates, mostly prominent personalities and those whose prison term will end soon, refused to take advantage of the jailbreak to escape incarceration.  

President Muhammadu Buhari visited the facility for a few minutes on his way to the airport on a foreign trip to Senegal Wednesday afternoon, inspecting the damage while assuring correctional managers of support.

As the president departed the scene, prisoners began shouting that they lost money during the raid, while some threatened violence should officials fail to return their cash.

Read Also: UPDATE: How over 300 terrorist attacked Kuje prison successfully – Eyewitness

“Yes, that is the problem we’re confronting now,” an official said when asked for corroboration Wednesday evening.

“Some people lost money in naira while some lost in dollars.”

The official said the money belongs to wealthy individuals inside the prison.

“It’s those big men that are more enraged because they kept millions with the warders,” the official said.”About N82 million was declared missing and four people are looking for $36,000.

“We don’t know what the prison management will do about the matter because the money was not kept with the warders officially,” the source added.

The officials spoke under anonymity because they did not receive permission to comment on internal prison disputes.

As of press time, the corrections spokesperson did not return a request seeking comments about the missing cash and threats of violence.

The facility holds politicians including former Taraba Governor, Jolly Nyame and federal lawmaker Farouk Lawan. Embattled Deputy Police Commissioner Abba Kyari is also held at the centre, as well as former pensions directorate grunt, Abdulrasheed Maina.

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