A yet-to-be-identified gunmen on Saturday evening invaded and attacked the Nigerian Prisons (Medium) in Tunga, Minna, Niger State, killing one and setting free over 270.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said he was threatened by the three armed men who came in a Honda car and snatched two other cars.
He said: “They were dressed in Police bullet proof uniforms and snatched two cars, which they used in conveying their gang members.
“They succeeded in freeing over 270 inmates. I saw them and I do not know where other young men with guns numbering about 10 joined them.”
The three-man gang arrived the Minna Medium Prisons at exactly 4:30pm.
They were said to have been shooting sporadically in a bid to scare away residents on David Mark Road in Tunga, with many prisoners running for freedom through the Tunga Hills towards the Three-Armed Zone that links to Maitumbi axis of the city.
While they were escaping, they shot a man who tried to raise the alarm and to stop them in Karfin Tella community in Tunga area.
Although, it was not really clear whether they are members of the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, but some prisoners believed to be over 270 escaped from the prison.
While some persons thought they were armed robbers, others concluded it was a jail break.
Before forcing their ways into the prison, eyewitnesses said they shot the warders on duty and succeeded in setting a number of them free.
The situation and rowdiness at the prison was however brought under control after exchange of gunfire between the gunmen and the police. It lasted for about 15 minutes.
An eyewitness said that the Warders who were injured were immediately rushed to the Minna General Hospital for treatment.
The gunmen, it was also gathered, stormed the bye pass after leading the prisoners to escape and snatched vehicles from unsuspecting owners to ferry them out of danger zone.
The prison’s spokesman, Rabiu Shuaibu Muhammed, who confirmed the story, could not however ascertain the number of prisoners that escaped and the exact number that sustained injuries.
Muhammed however said they had 323 inmates before the attack.
Two hundred and seventy escaped, leaving on 53.