The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), has said that a total of 1,844 inmates were freed from its Owerri holding centre, after gunmen attacked the facility at about 2:15 a..m. yesterday.
The attackers were reported to have also invaded the State Police Command headquarters, setting vehicles and other property within the complex ablaze. Confirming the incident, yesterday, the spokesperson for the NCoS,
Mr. Francis Enobore, a Comptroller of Correction, said the gunmen gained access into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block.
This was as he further disclosed that the gunmen came in Hilux vans, as well as Sienna buses, to carry out the dastardly act. He said as at the last count, six inmates had voluntarily returned to the facility, even as 35 others refused to escape from custody during the attack.
Unconfirmed reports allege that the daring attack may have been carried out by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
New Telegraph reports that the development comes barely six months after the twin jailbreak in Benin and Oko – all in Edo State – with consequential forceful release of 1,993 inmates, many of whom had been condemned already.
“The Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State has been attacked by unknown gunmen who forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody”, Enobore said. According to him: “The attackers, who stormed the facility at about 02:15hrs on Monday 5th April, 2021, gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block.
“They were said to have arrived the centre in their large number in several Hilux pick-up vans and Sienna buses armed with sophisticated weapons and immediately engaged the security personnel on duty in a fierce gun battle.
“They eventually detonated the explosive to gain entrance”. Meanwhile, the NCoS has ordered a full-scale investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack, with a view to bringing perpetrators to deserved justice.
“The comprehensive probe, the statement added, will be carried out in collaboration with other relevant security agencies.”