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All agents went into hiding night Kuje facility was attacked, says security personnel

By Tina Abeku, Abuja
11 July 2022   |   2:42 am
Days after suspected terrorists broke into the Kuje medium security custodial centre, more details are unfolding, shedding light on what actually happened on the night the attack took place.

Nigerian security forces take measures after an attack at Kuje prison outskirt of the capital Abuja, Nigeria on July 6, 2022. At least 600 inmates are on the run after the attack. Adam Abu-bashal / Anadolu Agency (Photo by Adam Abu-bashal / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

Of 24 trained dogs, none was released

Days after suspected terrorists broke into the Kuje medium security custodial centre, more details are unfolding, shedding light on what actually happened on the night the attack took place.

It was disclosed that security personnel at various points in the facility did not repel attacks from the intruders.

First-hand information from personnel present indicated that the terrorists met with no resistance at all as security agents on duty all ran into hiding, except for the few unfortunate ones that could not make it in time, thereby allowing the intruders to have a field day freeing inmates and setting ablaze vehicles while chanting Allahu Akbar.

“We all ran into the bushes when we heard gunshots. Some of us were sitting here, (pointing at one of the security outposts), when they opened fire so all of us, we took cover,” one of the personnel explained.

The source said no one was willing to risk his life as killings of security personnel usually go unappreciated by the “big ogas.”

Another custodial officer explained that the attackers were many that her colleagues who were on duty could not even count them and did not bother to attempt to resist, especially when operatives stationed in the outer outposts failed to raise the alarm.

According to her, “even the civil defence officer that was killed was found sleeping because he was resting, waiting to take over the next duty shift. This was how they killed him.”

She showed The Guardian the single room along the way into the facility, where the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC), officer took his last rest before he was gunned down.

Police Narrative
While conducting a tour of the facility at the weekend, police officers that were deployed to the custodial centre from MOPOL 21, said it was revealed that trained dogs in the care of the Canine unit of the Centre were not released during the attack.

Minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola said the Kuje facility is world class by any standard hence the attack should not have been successful, but for the poor fire response of personnel on guard.

“I am disappointed because we have enough men to protect this facility but unfortunately, they couldn’t hold their position effectively.

“We have a world class facility here by any standard. Now my position is so clear because I have declared since April last year that all our facilities are red zones and that whoever attempts an attack must not live to tell the story, I still maintain this.

“We have a platoon of security officers deployed here. We have the high grade of military and police and other security forces here, but strangely something happened, most of which I cannot say on camera.”