The federal Government has declared 1,844 prisoners missing from the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in Owerri, Imo State which came under attack by gunmen on Monday morning.
Spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Francis Enobore in a statement in Abuja said the attackers stormed the facilities at about 0215 hours.
According to him, the attackers “gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block.
“The Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State has been attacked by unknown gunmen and forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody.”
He revealed that six inmates have voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape.
He said : “The attackers who stormed the facility at about 0215hrs 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.
“The Acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident and in collaboration with other security organisations, commenced a search and recover operations to recapture the fleeing inmates.
“While appealing to the good citizens of Imo State and indeed Nigerians to volunteer useful intelligence that will facilitate the recovery effort, the Ag. Controller-General wishes to assure that the security of custodial centres in the country remains sacrosanct.
“He equally directed all officers attached to custodial facilities to remain vigilant at this trying moment in our history.
“As at the last count, six inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack”, according to the statement.