Boko Haram Sect Attempts Jailbreak in Yola
Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect
3 killed by gunmen at Maiduguri cinema
At least 10 prison officials narrowly escaped being lynched yesterday morning, when some prisoners attempting jailbreak started a riot at the Jimeta prisons.
The prisoners suspected to be members of the religious fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, had attacked some officials of the prison including the officer in charge, immediately after the early morning roll call.
The officer in charge of the prison, Mohammed Gwami, told journalists that he was in the prison yard for his routine check when all of a sudden the inmates started protesting and throwing stones and sticks at him and other officials and refusing to go back to their cells.
He stated that he had to send a distress call to the state comptroller of prison and the police and that the prompt arrival of the riot police men saved the situation from degenerating completely.
About 20 prison inmates believed to be Boko Haram members were recently transferred from Maiduguri Prisons to the Jimeta facility.
About two other prisoners who assisted the prison officials from being lynched were also being held in protective custody at the Jimeta police station.
Confirming the attempted jailbreak, the state Comptroller of Prisons Mohammed Nata- Allaah said the situation had been brought under control.
Although he denied that the attempted breakout was in any way linked to the incidences of Boko Haram sweeping the North-east region, he stressed that the prison had before now complained of congestion at the facility.
He stated that only last month, about 130 awaiting detainees were released from the prison following the visit of the state chief judge and that soon, more releases were being considered.
He stated that the Jimeta prison facility was housing over 485 inmates instead of the 250 capacity, and that already efforts were being made to address the situation.
Meanwhile, gunmen yesterday killed three people at a movie house in Maiduguri in an attack police believe is politically-motivated ahead of the April general election.
According to AFP, the attack took place in the North-eastern town where radical religious sect Boko Haram has been blamed for a series of attacks in the city where it launched a short-lived armed uprising in 2008.
Three people were killed by assailants believed to be thugs loyal to a local politician in a cinema last night regional police commissioner Mohamed Jinjiri Abubakar told reporters.
Abubakar said the attackers chased after a supporter of a rival politician who fled into the cinema and melted in the crowd of spectators
The gunmen stormed the cinema and indiscriminately fired into the crowd, killing three people on the spot, he said.
He, however, ruled out the involvement of Boko Haram which has killed scores of people in recent months, targeting police, community leaders and churches.
Not all attacks are perpetrated by Boko Haram members, politicians have hands in some of the attacks," said Abubakar.
Police have made seven arrests already.
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for Christmas Eve attacks on churches in Maiduguri and multiple bomb blasts and reprisals in the central city of Jos in which a total of 86 people were killed.