Jailbreak Due to Heavy Rainfall at Suleja Custodial Center, Raises Concerns for Public Safety

by | May 22, 2024 | Press Release

Home E Press Release E Jailbreak Due to Heavy Rainfall at Suleja Custodial Center, Raises Concerns for Public Safety

Abuja, Nigeria— April 26th, 2024— The recent jailbreak at the Suleja Custodial Center has sparked widespread concern over public safety and highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive reform in pre-trial detention systems. On Wednesday, April 23, 2024, 118 inmates were reported to have escaped from the facility after heavy rainfall broke down a section of the facility’s security perimeter fence, prompting a manhunt and raising questions about the effectiveness of security measures in correctional institutions.

The jailbreak at Suleja Custodial Center highlights the dangers such incidents pose to society. Unlawful absconding of inmates not only jeopardizes the safety of citizens but also undermines public trust in the justice system. 

The said Suleja Custodial Centre is a project location of the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC). In light of this incident, PPDC reaffirms its commitment to reforming pre-trial detention systems. PPDC recognizes the need for a holistic approach that ensures the safety of both inmates and the public while promoting a fair and speedy dispensation of justice.

PPDC’s Reforming Pretrial Detention Phase II project supported by the US government through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)  focuses on increasing the capability of Nigeria’s corrections and judicial sectors, in collaboration with Nigeria’s law schools and local bar associations, in properly handling pre-trial detainees to carry out justice, ensure rule of law, and build public confidence in the country’s justice process. PPDC is also providing pro bono legal aid for inmates. Through collaboration with government agencies, community organizations, and private partners, PPDC aims to create a more equitable and effective criminal justice system that prioritizes rehabilitation over punishment.

“We believe that every individual, regardless of their circumstances, tribe or orientation, deserves a chance to have a fair hearing,” said Kenechukwu Agwu, Senior Programs Manager, Access to Justice, PPDC. He goes further to add that “our efforts are aimed at creating a system that not only safeguards public safety but also fosters positive change in the lives of those who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.” 

While we appreciate the Nigerian Correctional Service for their efforts at utilizing the Corrections Information Management (CIMS) to ensure the recapture of the escapees, PPDC urges government officials to prioritize the implementation of reforms, especially the 2019 Correctional Services Act, that enhance security measures in correctional facilities, improve conditions for inmates, and promote alternatives to incarceration where appropriate. By investing in preventive measures and rehabilitation programs, policymakers can address the underlying issues that contribute to crime and ensure a safer and more just society for all.

Signed, Nnenna Eze

Communications Manager,

Public and Private Development Centre.