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HomeTop NewsPresident Buhari queries Nigeria's intelligence service on Kuje prison attack

President Buhari queries Nigeria’s intelligence service on Kuje prison attack

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There are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may rejig the country’s security architecture in the wake of the attack on the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje in Abuja as he questioned the competence of the state of the nation’s intelligence agency.

Suspected Boko Haram militants invaded the Kuje prison on Tuesday, destroyed the facilities and freed over 800 inmates, including around 63 members of the sect locked up in the custodial centre.

A spokesman for the prison service said about 434 inmates who initially escaped from the facility have been recaptured and returned to their cells.

Speaking after inspecting the destroyed facilities, President Buhari expressed disappointment with the intelligence system and utilisation at the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje in Abuja.

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the president told journalists that “I am disappointed with the intelligence system.”

“How can terrorists organise, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?”

“How many personnel did you have on duty? How many of them were armed? Were there guards on the watchtower? What did they do? Does the CCTV work?” Question after question.

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“How can terrorists organize, have weapons, attack a security installation and get away with it?” Shehu quoted the president as saying at the scene of the incident.

“How did the defences at the prison fail to prevent the attack?” the President queried. “How many inmates were in the facility? How many of them can you account for?

Soon after he arrived at the facility, the President was briefed about the attack by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, and the Controller General of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa.

Both men showed President Buhari the bombed-out section and the records office, which was set on fire, adding that the invaders thereafter launched an attack on all cells in which Boko Haram terrorists were held.

He was also apprised that, at the end of the attack, none of the 63 terrorists was accounted for, but the records were not lost because they had been backed up.

According to Shehu, President Buhari, like most Nigerians, was shocked by both the scale and audacity of the attack.

The President was also informed that the security forces have recaptured 350 of the escapees while about 450 others were still unaccounted for, and that rapid work was underway to recapture them.

The President, accompanied by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, said he was expecting “a comprehensive report” on the incident at the end of the visit.

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