The scores of terrorists who raided the Kuje Medium Security Prison in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, had so much free time on their hands that they first delivered a 15-minute Quranic lecture to inmates before setting them free, an insider who witnessed the horror show from start to finish has recounted.
As widely reported by the media over the night, scores of terrorists raided the prison on Tuesday night, freeing hundreds of inmates after shooting and bombing their way into the prison yard.
Speaking with FIJ on Wednesday, the insider said it took “only 50 minutes” for the attackers to gain access into the facility, subduing the entire facility with “eight or a little more bombs”.
10:05PM, FIRST BOMB
“The first bomb sounded at exactly 10.05pm and as of 11pm security agents had taken cover while all the inmates were outside the cells in the compound,” he said.
“The terrorists moved everyone out of the facility to an open place where they gave Quranic lectures for about 15 minutes before they started sharing transportation fares to their members whom they came to rescue. It was very clear they came prepared.”
‘SQUAT DOWN, EVERYONE’
“The terrorists then barked orders at the inmates… that they should all squat down,” he continued.
“It looked, for a moment, like they were going to separate the Christians from the Muslims and pounce on them, but they didn’t. Instead, they separated their members from the rest and led their members away, while abandoning others to their fate.”
‘QURANIC LECTURE IN FULANI, HAUSA, EBIRA’
FIJ can confirm that the jailbreakers spoke in Ebira, in addition to Fulani and Hausa.
“Quite a few of them understand Ebira [spoken by a section of people in central Nigeria]; they preached in Ebira, Fulani and Hausa.
“And there were many of them. They surrounded the facility, as big and well-equipped as it is, and still had more than 20 of them inside the prison. That tells you there were so many of them!
‘THE SECURITY PERSONNEL DISAPPEARED’
The prison service confirmed one Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) official and four inmates dead, and three prison officials injured. However, these must either be among the few security officials who didn’t “disappear” immediately or among the few who chose to fight back.
“Sincerely, when we got outside, none of the security officers were around. Even those inside, nobody knows how they disappeared,” said the source.
“Those Boko Haram guys came with sophisticated weapons and they overpowered the entire security systems of the facility. I saw GPMG (General Purpose Machine Guns) and launchers, machine guns with enough bullets in chains. And all they were shouting was ‘Allahu Akbar.’”
CHRISTIANS DISGUISED AS MUSLIMS TO ESCAPE
“There were Christians who escaped because they rather surprisingly tied clothes around their heads down to their jaws, just like Muslims, and were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ like Muslims would.
“My hunch is that some Muslims must have taught them during the time when news had filtered in that Boko Haram terrorists were the ones trying to gain entry to the facility.”
800 OUT OF 1,0007 INMATES SET FREE
FIJ understands that out of 1,007 inmates who were in the facility as of Tuesday morning, over 800 were set free. However, quite a number of them have turned themselves in, and more are expected to do so before the end of the day.”
A lawyer who spoke to FIJ but asked not to be named said any inmate with a lawyer will likely return.
“I can assure you that any inmate who has a lawyer will definitely get the advice to voluntarily return to the prison because that is the safest thing to do,” he said.
“However, from the information I have directly from inmates and fellow lawyers, no single inmate was captured; it was a free ride for them all last night. The ones who are back there are those who return of their nown volition.”