Pulse List: Popular Nigerians in Kuje Prison

Recent occupants of the Kuje prison include ex-lawmakers, former governors and popular members of terrorist groups.

Pulse List: Popular Nigerians in Kuje Prison

Nigeria has been buzzing with conversations around the attack on the Kuje Correctional facility, which led to the escape of several inmates on Tuesday, July 05, 2022.

Previously, the Kirikiri Maximum Security correctional facility was regarded as the ‘VIP prison’ for prominent Nigerians. However, the most recent occupants of the Kuje prison include ex-lawmakers, former governors, and popular members of terrorist groups.

Some prominent Nigerians like the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Olisa Metuh, and Femi Fani-Kayode recently had brief stays at the prison.

Kuje is so highly rated that even the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who is in the custody of the DSS, had requested to be transferred to Kuje Prison; a request that was rejected by the court.

Despite the weighty content of the correctional centre, concerns about the state of security have been raised against the backdrop of the ease at which terrorists successfully attacked the prison and freed inmates, including "all boko haram suspects".

While terrorists operated at the facility for hours, a major military formation is in Gwagwalada, and there are several military checkpoints, just 15 minutes from the prison. In addition, major cantonments like Mogadishu, Niger, and Lungi are less than 45 minutes from the prison.

The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Here is a list of prominent Nigerians at the Kuje Correctional facility:

Abba Kyari

The disgraced ex-head of the Intelligence Response Team is currently lounging at the Kuje correctional facility over his ongoing charges around his narcotics scheme, and tampering with evidence.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency had filled eight-count charges against Kyari and he has been reprimanded at Kuje, alongside some other police officers.

Justice Emeka Nwike had ordered Kyari, ACP Sunday Ubia, Inspector Simon Agirgba, Inspector John Nuhu and Bawa James to be sent to Kuje.

Joshua Dariye

Former Governor of Plateau State would not have risked running out of prison considering that he recently got a state pardon. The National Council of States Dariye granted Dariye and 158 others pardon, although, the ex-governor is yet to be released.

The former governor was convicted of embezzling N2 billion belonging to Plateau State, while he was governor from 1999 to 2007.

He was handed a 14-year prison sentence by High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. However, the sentence was commuted by the Supreme Court to 10 years.

Rev Jolly Nyame

Like Dariye, Mr Nyame is a beneficiary of the controversial presidential pardon of President Buhari. The Taraba State governor between 1999 to 2007 was convicted in 2018 by Justice Bukola Banjoko and the sentence was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Abdulrasheed Maina

Once upon a time, Mr Maina was the chairman of the powerful Pension Reform Task Force under President Goodluck Jonathan. He was appointed in 2010 to cleanse the system.

In 2012, a Senate committee accused him of embezzling N100 billion. He was dismissed from service after going into hiding.

Justice Okon Abang had handed Mr Maina eight years imprisonment for stealing billions from pensioners.

Mr Maina gained celebrity status after his cat and mouse episode with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission until he was arrested alongside his 20-year-old son, Faisal.

He resurfaced after the emergence of Buhari as president. It would be recalled that he was clandestinely reinstated into civil service and promoted, but following the outrage, the government fired him.

Farouq Lawan

Lawan is a clear case of grace to grass. The former Kano lawmaker was charged with investigating petroleum subsidy during the Jonathan’s administration. He fell after a sting operation by DSS exposed him of using the committee to milk oil marketers.

Femi Otedola’s $600,000 exposed Lawan, who was one of the leaders of the caucus that removed Patricia Etteh as the Speaker of the House.

Lawan is currently in Kuje after a court sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment.

Peter Nwachukwu

The husband of popular gospel artist, Osinachi is also at the Kuje Correctional Centre on the ongoing case of homicide.

Last month, the Federal Capital Territory High Court remanded Mr Nwachukwu in prison with the case still ongoing.

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