Owerri attack: NCoS confirms escape of 1,844 inmates

• FG orders investigation, recapture of fleeing inmates

The headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) confirmed that unknown gunmen on Monday attacked its facility in Owerri in Imo State leading to the escape of 1,844 inmates.

This came as the Federal Government has a comprehensive investigation into the incident while directing security agencies to recapture the fleeing inmates.

Public Relations Officer of the Service, Mr Francis Enobore, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the attackers stormed the facility at about 0215hrs on Monday 5, April 2021, gained entry into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block.

He noted that while 6 inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack.

“They were said to have arrived the centre in 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 explosives to gain entry.

“The Acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident and in collaboration with other security organizations, commenced a search and recovery 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.”

The statement said the NCoS has equally directed all officers attached to custodial facilities to remain vigilant at the moment.

“As at the last count, 6 inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack.”

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