Three notorious and convicted armed robbers, who did not want to face the death sentence, were behind the attack on the Minna Medium Security Prison.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, had confirmed that 210 inmates escaped from the Minna Maximum Prisons in Niger State after an invasion by some gunmen which claimed the lives of a prison warder and a commercial motorcyclist last Sunday.
It was gathered that the trio, led by their gang leader, known as Idoko, attacked the Medium Prison Minna to regain freedom after a tip-off that Governor Abubakar Bello would sign their death warrants on Monday last week.
Nemesis however caught up with the three convicts, who were involved in a deadly robbery.
They were said to have been tried and condemned to death as opposed to their previous judgment that amounted to life imprisonment, which led to the attack on the prison alongside other gang members.
It was reliably gathered that on Sunday afternoon, Idoko was moved from Minna Old Prison to Minna Medium Security Prison on special transfer demand to a more fortified prison to meet his two condemned colleagues for close monitoring.
A source said Idoko, who is at large, had boasted that if he was eventually relocated to Medium Prison, he would not spend a night there.
An eyewitness who is a resident of Kaffin-Teller, where the prison was situated, said, “It was just like a film when they arrived at the prison area at about 8.30pm and alighted from their vehicles.
“They ordered those of us in front of our houses to go inside immediately and directed those loitering about to disappear as they continued to shoot indiscriminately to scare everyone. It all happened so fast.”
Another Kaffin-Teller resident told our correspondent that all hell was let loose on that day and it looked like they would not survive the ordeal.
The source said, “It was like that of 2014, where a total of 170 inmates of Minna Minimum Prison escaped. It is regrettable that the investigation panel, set up by the previous administration, did not do anything to avert a future recurrence.”
Meanwhile, the Niger State Police Command has warned residents of the state to resist the temptation of harbouring the fleeing inmates of the prison or face the consequences of law.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abubakar, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the police would deal decisively with any person caught harbouring the criminals.