At least 240 inmates were said to have escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack on the facility by gunmen.
At the time of the attack, at least 294 inmates, with 224 pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates, were said to be in custody, and after the attacks, only 50 persons could be accounted for.
The facility, constructed about 13 years ago, was said to have come under attack by gunmen that engaged the security personnel deployed by the Federal Government to prevent any jailbreak.
The jailbreak comes a few months after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service and the police headquarters in Imo State, freeing 1,844 inmates, after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.
Confirming the number of escapees, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesman, Francis Enobore, through a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, stated that the attack took place at about midnight yesterday.
According to him, the attackers in their numbers arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed and immediately engaged the guards in a fierce gun battle.
Enobore further disclosed that the Comptroller–General, Haliru Nababa, had ordered a recapture procedure to be activated immediately and that a detailed investigation should be carried out.
As he head to the location to access the extent of damage done by the gunmen on the facility, the Comptroller-General, meanwhile, appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that would assist in recapturing the escapees.
Earlier, the gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters. No fewer than 50 cars were set ablaze in the process.
A similar attack was carried out at the correctional centre in Ubiaja, Edo State; however, the jailbreak was foiled by officers at the facility.
The inmates, after breaking out from their cells, engaged the correctional officers in a fight, leaving some of the security personnel injured.
It took a combined effort by officers from the Nigerian Army, 4th brigade, and the Edo command of the Nigeria Police Force, to eventually overpower the inmates and return them to their cells.