There has been a jailbreak at the Maximum Prison in Benin, Edo state, and a number of prisoners have reportedly escaped from the correctional centre.
There have been reports that this was carried out by suspected hoodlums who stormed the #EndSARS Protests in Benin City, the Edo State capital, and hijacked the peaceful protest.
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This development was disclosed by the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media, Crusoe Osagie. Osagie told newsmen that the hoodlums exchanged fire with security operatives at the Maximum prison in Benin City.
“The hoodlums are currently exchanging fire with the security personnel at the Maximum security prison in Oko, Benin City,” Osagie said.
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It was gathered that three police stations have also been burnt by the hoodlums. Some of the police stations affected include the Ugbekun and Idogbo Police Stations in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state.
In videos circulating on social media, the hoodlums can be seen invading the Benin Medium security prison on Sapele Road, releasing some inmates.
The #EndSARS protests have been taking place in different parts of the nation for two weeks now. The protesters, who are mostly youths, are demanding an end to police brutality; extrajudicial killings and scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) – a unit of the police force notorious for human rights abuse.
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The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had announced the dissolution of SARS, and barely 24 hours later, announced a new tactical unit – Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) – to replace the scrapped SARS unit.
The announcement of the SWAT unit enraged Nigerians who have continued to storm major roads to express their displeasure. According to the protesters, SWAT would be no different from the disbanded SARS, and does not reflect the reformation of the police force.