he Nigeria ministry of interior, has said that 1,993 inmates in legal custody were freed as a result of the jailbreak in Benin and Oko prisons in Benin city by protesters on Monday.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the ministry’s director, press and public relations, Mohammed Manga, Tuesday.
According to the statement, “two NCoS custodial centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked yesterday by protesters purportedly under the #ENDSARS aegis, freeing (at the last count) 1,993 inmates in legal custody and looting the centres, including the weapons in their armoury.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how hoodlums, numbering over 100, invaded the cells and freed several inmates.
Several persons were said to have sustained gunshot injuries as an armed squad of prison officials engaged the suspected hoodlums in a gun duel.
“They came in large numbers, bearing dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty. They were unmistakable on their mission, which was to force the cells open, free the inmates and carry out other nefarious activities,” the statement said.
The ministry’s statement noted that the situation has been brought under control while security around the custodial centres nationwide has been beefed up.
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“Investigation has commenced to determine the full impact of the attack,” the statement read.
It also said while peaceful protest is legitimate and guaranteed as a fundamental right of citizens, criminality should be condemned.
The statement said most of the inmates held at the centres “are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offences, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes”.
It said “their being let loose gravely imperils lives and property, and that it is an unacceptable and intolerable threat to national and communal security.”