By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Unknown gunmen Sunday night attacked the Minna Medium Security Prison in the Niger State capital freeing no fewer than 20 inmates.
The gunmen were reported to have attacked the prison from its southern part hiding under the cover of darkness.
It was learnt that they came in their numbers in a pick-up van with army colours and shot sporadically into the air while other gunmen scaled the fence to set the inmates free.
The incident occurred at about 9.00pm when it was threatening to rain.
So far, two people — a prison official and an Okada rider, who must have conveyed the official to the prison — have been confirmed killed.
It was gathered that the gunmen, who caught the prison officials unawares, took away several of the prisoners in the pick-up van they came with.
When THISDAY spoke with residents of the area, they said the shooting lasted about 45 minutes and that some inmates escaped with gunshot injuries.
Some inmates however remained within the prison despite their being “set free” by the gunmen.
The Niger State Command Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Abubakar, when contacted confirmed the incident describing it as “a jail break”.
“For further details please contact the Prison PRO” the police spokesman said.
Efforts to get the Prison PRO as at the time of filing this report was abortive as his cell phone was not connecting.