Armed men have attacked a prison facility in Kabba, Kogi State, North-central Nigeria, killing two officials and freeing many inmates.
Sola Fasure, a spokesperson to the interior minister, Rauf Aregbesola, confirmed the attack in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Fasure said Mr Aregbesola was briefed that the gunmen attacked the Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre. The attack is believed to have occurred in the late hours of Sunday.
“During the attack, security officers on duty which comprised of 15 Soldiers, 10 Police Officers and 10 armed guards of the NCoS on duty fought gallantly to repel the attack.
“Regrettably, two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack,” he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack comes about five months after a total of 1,844 prisoners were freed when gunmen suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) attacked a separate prison in Owerri, Imo State.
IPOB had been blamed for previous attacks on security officers and facilities in the South-east and South-south regions.
It also comes less than a year after hoodlums took advantage of the #EndSARS protest that rocked the country in October last year and broke into three Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) facilities in Edo and Ondo states.
A similar attempt was, however, foiled in Lagos State.
At least 2,051 inmates escaped after the jailbreaks in Edo and Ondo states while some of the inmates voluntarily returned and turned themselves in.
Also, no fewer than 12 security agents in charge of these facilities were killed during the attacks.
In the latest attack, the interior ministry did not state the exact figure of inmates who escaped.
The ministry however said many of the 294 inmates had escaped while a few voluntarily returned.
Read the full statement by Mr Fasure below.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has been briefed by the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, on the unfortunate attack on Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre, in Kabba, Kogi State, by yet to be identified gunmen.
During the attack, security officers on duty which comprised of 15 Soldiers, 10 Police Officers and 10 armed guards of the NCoS on duty fought gallantly to repel the attack. Regrettably, two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack.
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.
The Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, is currently monitoring the situation. A tour of the facility is also ongoing.
A Crisis Response Centre has been activated and a Special Taskforce mobilized to recapture escaped inmates whilst an Inter-Agency Security Task Force is already on the trail of the gunmen who attacked the facility.The public is advised to stay calm as the situation is under control.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, assures the citizenry that 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.
Further updates will be provided after the end of the preliminary assessment.
Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior
For Honourable Minister of Interior
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