TIMELINE: How 4,058 Prisoners Were Freed In Attacks On Prisons, Police Cells In Last Six Months

Hoodlums and other criminals have consistently unleashed attacks on police stations and correctional facilities across the country since the #EndSARS protest.

In October 2020, several Nigerian youths protesting against extrajudicial killings and police brutality thronged the streets to demand the proscription of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

However, the protests were hijacked by hoodlums who inflicted injuries on peaceful protesters while committing other atrocities.

On October 19, 2020, the Nigerian authorities claimed that nearly 2,000 inmates broke out of jail after crowds attacked a prison in Edo and Ondo respectively.

According to the Interior Ministry spokesman, Mohammed Manga, an armed group of people attacked two prison facilities, subduing the guards on duty.

He said 1,993 inmates were missing in the Edo Prison break

“Most of the inmates held at the centres are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offences, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes,” he said in a statement.

On October 22, 2020, over 58 inmates at the National Correctional Service Centre in Okitipupa, Ondo State escaped during another prison break.

On April 5, 2021, SaharaReporters reported how over 2, 000 inmates were freed at the office of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Imo state police command.

It was reported that the gunmen freed all the suspects in almost all the cells at the SCID.

This brings the total number of reported freed inmates as a result of jailbreaks to an estimated number of 4, 058 in the past six months.

Attackers have also carried out several operations on police stations and officers in the past six months.

On 20th October 2020, thugs attacked and set Orile Iganmu Police Station ablaze.

According to reports, an officer at Orile shot and killed a resident which aggravated the anger of hoodlums, whom had already tagged Orile Station as one of the most corrupt in the state.

February 6, 2020, unknown gunmen attacked Obowo divisional police headquarters located at Umulowe autonomous community in Imo state and killed two officers on duty. 

On February 26, 2020, hoodlums invaded the Aboh Mbaise Divisional Police Headquarters, in the state, engaged the officers on duty in a gun duel, wounding a policewoman, setting the structure on fire, and carted away yet-to-be disclosed items, according to sources.

On March 10, 2021, scores of angry and restive youths in Isinweke, Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State invaded a police station in the area, chased away police officers on duty, and set the facility ablaze.

Vehicles, structures, and equipment within the vicinity were also torched.

The youths were said to be on a revenge mission after an alleged shooting to the death of two biological siblings.

On March 21, 2021, it was reported that there was an attack on Isiala Mbano Divisional Police headquarters located at Umuelemai in Imo State.

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, who confirmed the attack on the police facility, said that no rifle was carted away by the attackers.

Ikeokwu also said that the gunmen were unable to burn down the facility but succeeded in setting files ablaze and injuring one of the policemen on duty.

Robbers, in some instances, headed to police stations deliberately to kill cops and vandalise the stations before embarking on their brutal operations.

The police in Oyo State disclosed that five stations were burnt by hoodlums during the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests in the state.

Lagos State Police command said 25 stations were razed during the #EndSARS protest including Amukoko, Layeni, Ilasamaja, Ikotun, Ajah, Igando, Elemoro, Makinde, Onipanu, Ebute-Ero, Pen-Cinema, Isokoko, Alade, Cele, Igbo Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Makoko, Daleko, Asahun, Makinyo, Amuwo-Odofin and Anti-Kidnapping, Surulere. Police stations in Ojoo, Ojodu, Mowo, PPL and Morogbo in the state were also vandalised, but not burnt.

Last year, suspected armed robbers attacked the divisional police headquarters at Igueben, Edo State, carting away arms and ammunition and injuring two officers. The assailants reportedly used an explosive device, believed to be locally-made dynamite, to gain access to the facility.

In December, a mob burnt a police station in Igboukwu in the Aguata LGA of Anambra State.

Also, on March 30, 2021, unidentified gunmen killed a Chief Superintendent of Police, Benedict Okoh Ajide and other police officers in the Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.

The gunmen also killed a yet-to-be ascertained number of military officers while many others were injured. During the attack, the armed louts reportedly headed for the armoury to steal arms and ammunition.

The police leadership disclosed that 22 officers died and 205 police stations and formations torched nationwide following the #EndSARS protests.

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