Benin - Eight inmates escaped from Oko Minimum Prison in Benin on Sunday during a jail break, Mr Ewulo Jimoh, the Edo Controller of Prison, said.
Jimoh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident was being investigated.
A senior prison official at the prison said the escape of the prisoners was made possible when some gunmen invaded the prison gate with explosives believed to be bombs.
The official, who preferred anonymity, said the incident occurred about 2 a.m., adding that 12 inmates initially escaped but that four were re-arrested.
A resident of the area said "the entire neighbourhood of the prison was woken by the sound of gunshots and explosions which occurred during the early hours of today [Sunday] forcing many families to abandon their homes".
When NAN visited the prison facility, relations and family members of inmates besieged the area, while armed security men cordoned off the premises and turned away visitors.
Mr Anthony Airhuoyo, Edo Police Public Relations Officer, said the state command had yet to be briefed by the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of the area.