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UPDATED: MEND Commander, Charles Okah Escapes From Kuje Maximum Prison

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An earlier version of this story mentioned Charles Okah as the prisoner who escaped in the Kuje Maximum prison jailbreak on Friday night. The inmate who provided this information to Signal has updated it. He says that the identities of the jailbreakers have been revealed to be other prisoners awaiting trial for murder. 

Read the update HERE for more details 


Charles Okah, a brother of Henry Okah, jailed leader of the defunct Movement For the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, has escaped from Kuje Prison in Abuja.

Signal, reports that a prison inmate informed the online newspaper that Mr. Okah escaped Friday, June 24, 2016, night by simply scaling the prison walls of the prison around 7:45pm Nigerian time.

Okah was reportedly in the company on another prison inmate. Both prisoners scaled the walls of the Kuje prison fence.

The prison inmate, who did not want to be named, said there are strong indications Okah escaped with outside help, capitalizing on security lapses during Muslim prayers which were happening at about that time.

“Someone threw a rope over the fence from the other side. That was how they escaped,” the inmate said.

Okah had been on trial in Abuja for the 2010 Independence Day bombing that killed 27 people.

Security agencies have been put on alert with a massive manhunt in progress to find and re-arrest him.

Okah Prison Death Rumours And Suicide Attempt

Rumours of the death of Charles Okah began to circulate on social media on October 7, 2015. The story, which made it to some blogs, reported that Okah passed away under suspicious circumstances in Kuje Prison, Abuja.

In response to enquiries from The Trent, the Nigeria Prison Service has issued a press statement saying that Okah is “hale and hearty”, “alive” in the “safe custody” of the service.

In an appearance at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, October 6, Okah reportedly attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of a sixth floor window in the courthouse. He was restrained by security officials from making the leap.

Henry Okay, elder brother of Charles, was convicted of masterminding the bombing in a South African Court in 2013. He was found guilty of 13 counts, including twin bombing on Nigeria’s 50th independence day that killed 12 people. He is currently serving a 24-year jail sentence in a South African prison.

In 2014, Henry Okah attempted a prison break.

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