The Federal Government has launched manhunt for no fewer than 240 inmates who escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack on the facility by gunmen.
While assuring the public to remain calm, the government noted that a Crisis Response Centre has been activated and a Special Taskforce deployed to recapture escaped inmates whilst an Inter-Agency Security Task Force was already on the trail of the gunmen who attacked the facility.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who gave the assurance, explained that during the attack, security officers on duty, which comprised of 15 soldiers, 10 Police Officers and 10 armed guards of the NCoS fought gallantly to repel the attack.
Through a statement by his spokesperson, Sola Fasure, the minister said that two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman died during the attack.
According to him, the Kabba Custodial facility had 294 inmates as at the time of the attack, many of whom escaped after the gunmen used explosives to destroy three sides of the perimeter fence. However, there remains 28 inmates who didn’t escape. Some have also voluntarily returned to the facility as at this morning.
Aregbesola, who advised Nigerians, particularly Kogi citizens to stay calm as the situation was under control, said, “Nigeria’s security forces will find the attackers and bring them to justice. We shall leave no stone unturned to bring them back to custody. We are also putting INTERPOL on notice with their details, in case any of them attempts fleeing outside our shores.
“We urge the people, especially the communities around the custodial facility, to be vigilant and report any strange and suspicious persons or activities to the nearest law enforcement agency. To the fleeing inmates, escaping from lawful custody is a serious criminal offence. Law enforcement agencies and citizens are lawfully empowered to use all necessary means to arrest and bring you to justice.
“You should therefore know what you are up against. You will however be eligible for mitigation if you wilfully surrender yourselves at the nearest law enforcement office.
“The Nigeria Correctional Service shall not be cowed by elements seeking to compromise the security of our nation; we shall deal with this situation with absolute resolve.”