Edo State on 24 hour lockdown following prison break in Benin

Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki has declared a state of emergency in Benin

Throughout the week, nationwide peaceful protests against SARS have been compromised by alleged hired thugs, and violence from the Nigerian Police Force with the aim to disperse protesters. There have been countless videos of police officers firing live bullets and pressured water at peaceful protesters, which have caused heightened tension in the country as the youth enter day-10 of protests to #EndSARS and police brutality.

Every day, there has been a new development throughout the country, aimed at stifling the protests, and the atmosphere is tense with citizens knowing their safety is not ensured as they take the streets. Protestors have been allegedly killed and brutalised by the police, and today amidst the restless atmosphere, there have been several reports that there has been a jailbreak this morning at Sapele Road in Benin City.

Videos accompanying the report showed as inmates scaled over the fence and joined the crowd of presumed protesters who were holding palm leaves and makeshift clubs. We can also see the prisoners fleeing the scene, thanking the presumed protesters as they join the crowd, however, it’s a bit suspicious that no police officer was seen in any of the videos that captured the jailbreak.

The jailbreak in Benin has led the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki to declare a state of emergency, noting that “hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state.” He shared a statement on Twitter, advising everyone to stay at home.

Prisoners being let out of jail whether they broke out themselves or were broken out confirms the youth’s sentiment for total and complete police reform. Men who have been convicted and should be behind bars are now running free in the streets, and from what we are seeing in the videos, it appears that the police did nothing to stop it.

In addition, the timing of the jailbreak is also suspicious, as it provides incentive for the government to distrust the peaceful protests and continue to label protestors as mischief-makers. We urge those protesting to stay safe and use the helplines when necessary and report suspicious activities.

This story is currently developing. We will keep updating this post as we hear more, please keep checking for updates.

Featured image credits/Twitter

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