Kuje Prison

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

Some residents of the Kuje Area Council, who reside in close proximity to the medium security custodial centre in Abuja, which terrorists attacked with sophisticated weapons, have recounted their experiences during the assault, which reportedly lasted over two hours and claimed no fewer than five lives on Tuesday night.

Damian Ayeneji, a youth leader in the area, said he witnessed the bomb blasts and sporadic gunshots at the premises and surroundings of the Kuje Custodial Centre.

According to him, some of the exchange of gunfire was between security agents and the gunmen who were said to have stormed the custodial centre with the mission to rescue some inmates.

He explained that residents of the area assumed the first bomb blast which went off around 10:00pm was one of the dynamites that licensed rock crushers around Kuje typically used to quarry solid mineral matter.

However, they were taken aback when the second and the third bomb blasted off in quick succession followed by the sporadic gunshots.

Ayeneji said, “It all started around 10:00pm. I was about to retire for the day. As a youth leader, I had left some of our local vigilantes.

“When I came back from the where I met our youths, I wanted to watch the television for a while before going to bed and all of a sudden, I heard a loud bang. Initially, I thought it was one of the dynamite blasts of rock crushers which we hear from time-to-time, especially at night.

“So, I didn’t bother. But when I heard the second and third blasts followed by sporadic gunshots, I became worried.

“At that point, I became afraid, wondering why what could be happening. So, I tried to step outside to see for myself, but ran back inside the house and took cover when it was clear to me that it was an attack on the custodial centre.

“The gunshots continued at intermittent intervals for over two hours.”

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