The Kuje Custodial Centre located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory came under attack late Tuesday night apparently to free jailed criminals, despite an earlier warning by the country’s intelligence service.
A prison source revealed that the State Security Service had “earlier today (Tuesday)” warned of an impending attack on Kuje prison. The source, however, could not describe the level of measures put in place to forestall the attack.
In the later update that emerged, the source said the attackers used three bombs and forcibly gained control of four entry and exit points.
Eyewitnesses alleged that the attack lasted for over an hour. One Twitter user said, “These ppl hv been shooting for bout 1 hour at Kuje. This house shook 3 times, bomb, explosives… i dunno But im on d floor in my room, seated n praying. Lord help us”
The prison is in Kuje Area Council of the FCT, lying outside the Abuja city centre, 47 kilometres to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, and 24 kilometres to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Dangerous criminals, including apprehended Boko Haram terrorists, are held in the prison, which also houses high profile public officers standing trial or already convicted.
“Three weeks ago, several high profile terrorists were relocated to Kuje prison,” a prison source said, the earliest link officials are analysing to trace the motivation for the attack.