Scores of inmates escape Nigeria prison after heavy rains

Ninety-seven escapees at large after rainfall in Kogi state prison allows over 120 to escape, prison authority says.

    Nearly 100 inmates remain at large after torrential rains in central Nigeria allowed scores of protesters to escape, according to authorities.

    The "perimeter fence" of the facility in Kogi state was destroyed by rains and cells flooded, forcing inmates "to break out of custody for safety", Francis Enobore, of the Nigerian Correctional Service, said in a statement on Tuesday.

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    "A torrential downpour on Monday 28th October, 2019, caused a surging flood that overran the centre at about 02:00 hours (GMT) pulling down a section of the perimeter fence," Enobore said, adding that "122 of them took the opportunity to escape, 105 remained on the spot".

    "Twenty-five of the escapees have been recaptured, leaving 97 still at large."

    Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has been particularly affected by heavy rains that have continued to fall, after the end of the rainy season.

    The agrarian central states of Niger, Benue, Kogi and Taraba have been affected by flooding in recent months.

    The rains have destroyed crops in the country's key agricultural belt, and forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.

    In the northeastern state of Adamawa, more than 40 villages have also been totally destroyed by the downpour in recent days local news reports said.

    SOURCE: News agencies