At least 575 inmates missing after gunmen in Nigeria storm jail

More than 800 were freed by force in third such attack this year

Gunmen have attacked a jail in Nigeria's Oyo State and freed more than 800 inmates by force, in the third such incident this year.

Those who carried out Friday's attack were heavily armed, the prison service said. After an exchange of gunfire with prison officers, they gained entry to the prison yard by blasting the walls with dynamite.

At least 575 inmates, all of whom were awaiting trial, were still missing and 262 escapees had since been recaptured, the prison service said in a statement on Saturday. The jail housed only 64 convicts, who did not escape.

“While all the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised,” the prison service said.

Nigeria is struggling with security problems across its vast territory, including a spate of abductions of students for ransom by criminal gangs in the north-west and an insurgency in the north-east.

The jail attack in Oyo follows similar attacks in IMO state in April where more than 1,800 inmates were freed. Another 266 prisoners were forcibly released in Kogi state last month.

Updated: October 24th 2021, 7:47 AM