*One Correctional Officer killed
Musa Pam, Jos
New Telegraph has learnt that as many as 262 inmates escaped during Sunday’s attack on the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos, Plateau State by gunmen.
New Telegraph learnt from some Custodial Centre officials that the attackers, who stormed the facility, escaped with their members who were already in the prison while over 200 other inmates used the opportunity to also flee.
However, 10 of the escapees have so far been captured although it was not known if they included some of the gunmen.
Further investigation revealed that most of those killed during the attack were inmates of the Custodial Centre.
Controller of the Jos Correctional Center, Samuel Aguda, while speaking with journalists on Monday, said one of his officers was shot in the arm when the invaders arrived at about 5:20p.m. on Sunday and immediately made for the main gate where they engaged the armed personnel in a gun battle before breaking into the yard.
Aguda, also confirmed that the Intelligence Unit and that of Records of the Correctional Centre were set ablaze by the bandits.
“I was told by our men that the attackers are suspected fulani herders because of the mode of their conversation during the attacked,” he said.
Meanwhile a press statement from the Correctional Service Headquarters in Abuja, confirmed that nine persons were shot dead during the attack.
The statement, signed by Francis Enobore for the spokesman of the Custodial Centre on behalf of the Controller General, said one of the gunmen trapped within the Medium Security Custodial Center, Jos after invading the facility has been identified as one of those killed in the gun duel.
“The attackers who stormed the Custodial Center at about 1720hrs on Sunday 28th November 2021 engaged the Nigerian Correctional Service(NCoS) armed squad personnel in a fierce gun battle before breaking into the yard.
“Sadly, one of the NCoS Armed Squad personnel paid the supreme price in the encounter while nine inmates also lost their lives. Another staff of the Service was shot in the hand and six inmates were also injured in the attack.
“Meanwhile, some of the attackers and a total of 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcements could come from sister services. However, 10 have so far been recaptured, leaving 252 at large,” the statement said.
The statement further added that the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa condoled with the family and friends of the gallant officer, who paid the ultimate price in the encounter, promising that his death will not be in vain as all the perpetrators will be hunted and made to face the full wrath of the law.
He thanked the officers and men of other security agencies for the assistance in bringing the situation under control and assured members of the public that the safety of inmates including their care and support, will continue to be a top priority in his administration.
He called for collaboration from patriotic individuals to apprehend the fleeing inmates as well as volunteering credible intelligence that could nip such ugly incidents in the bud.
Jos Medium Security Custodial Centre as at the time of attack, had 1,060 inmates comprising 560 pre-trial detainees and 500 convicts.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State Police Command also confirmed that nine fleeing inmates from the Jos Correctional Centre have been arrested by the men of the force, this is even as one inmate who earlier left voluntarily surrendered himself.
The arrest was made during a stop and search operation carried out by the Police, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Ubah disclosed.
As at the time of filing this report officials of the Jos Custodial Centre were still trying to ascertain the extent of damage to the facility, take head count of the inmates and positively identify the bodies.
And in a related development, Plateau State Governor, and Chairman Northern Governors Forum, Barr. Simon Lalong has condemned in strong terms the attack, describing it as unfortunate.
He praised the gallantry of officers and men of security agencies who rose to the occasion to thwart the plans of the criminals whose mission was to facilitate the escape of inmates and also cause destruction to the facility.