Prison attack: Business activities grounded in Kuje, as banks, markets are shut

Following attacks on the Kuje Medium Custodial Center, Abuja, business activities, including markets, schools, banks and shops have been shutdown, as citizens remain in shock.

Kuje, the sleepy suburb within the Federal Capital Territory,(FCT), located within the gateway into the FCT, about 20 kilometers from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport came under severe terrorists attacks in the late hours of Tuesday with the terrorists targeting the Kuje Medium Custodial Centre in Abuja.

Spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Abubakar Umar, a Chief Superintendent of Prisons, in a preliminary statement, early Wednesday, said the situation has however been brought under control.

He however disclosed that the situation at Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja, is now calm, as government acted quickly to put it under control.

The Kuje custodial centre currently has former Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba state; former Member House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan and embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Abba Kyari.

As residents recount tales of woos, an eyewitness who resides a few meters behind the Kuje Medium Custodial Center, narrated to BusinessDay how the terrorists laid siege in the area for several weeks

“ This area suddenly witnessed an upsurge in the number of persons renting houses, especially one room, shops and even repairing uncompleted shanties as temporary places of aboard .

For about eight months now, the area has witnessed an increase in the numbers of people seeking accommodations”

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“ It was God Almighty that saved us. Three of the escapees jumped into my compound and in sighting me begged us to allow them stay until morning. When I threatened to shout, they jumped out and fled my compound taking along with them, some cloths on the drying rack, spread there by my tenants”

BusinessDay gathered that the bandits had planted bombs, with the first going off at about 10.30 pm , while two others followed in quick succession.

When BusinessDay visited the Custodial Center on Wednesday morning, officials of the Center were still working to ascertain the actual number of victims as at the time of filing this report.

Unspecified number of people were killed while several others were injured.

It was also not immediately clear if arrests has been made as helicopters and surveillance activities had since last night been intensified with Kuje and its suburbs.

An unconfirmed report also indicated that seven of the fleeing inmates were apprehended around some parts of the town and handed over to the Police, early, Wednesday morning.

Some of the bandits were said to have created very good relationships with staff of the Center.

“ Sometimes, you see them buying drinks for them, interacting with Staff of the Center, all with a view to getting sensitive information about the prison environment.

They entered through Shetuko, a sleepy community behind the Kuje Correctional Center, that also serve as residents for most of the Center’s staff.

Another eyewitness revealed that some of the bandits were seen drinking heavily and buying drinks for people, in the drinking joints located close to the Custodial Center, late Tuesday evening.

“ There was a sudden increase in the number of those that came here to drink. They were celebrating wildly and bought drinks, pepper soup for people, not knowing that they were around carrying out surveillance and under studying the area.

“ We heard voices asking us to lye on the floor. The next thing, they exploded bombs, shooting. I slept on the ground.

BusinessDay gathered that security reports had indicated that the bandits were planing attacks at both the Kuje and Gwagwalada Centers.