Security forces have launched a manhunt for the yet to be identified gunmen who attacked the Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kogi at midnight on Sunday, the Ministry of Interior has said.
Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
Mr Fasure said that during the attack, security officers on duty which comprised of 15 soldiers, 10 police officers and 10 armed guards of the service on duty fought gallantly to repel the attack.
He said that regrettably two officers of the custodial service were yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack.
“The 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.
“Remaining 28 inmates who didn’t escape. Meanwhile, some of the inmates who escaped have also voluntarily returned to the facility this morning,” he added.
The media aide to the minister said that the Controller-General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCOs, Haliru Nababa, was currently monitoring the situation.
Mr Fasure added that the assessment of the facility was being taken to ascertain the extent of the damages.
“A Crisis Response Centre has been activated and a Special Taskforce mobilised to recapture escaped inmates while 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.”
Mr Fasure quoted the minister as assuring the citizenry that Nigeria’s security forces would find the attackers and bring them to justice.
“We shall leave no stone unturned to bring the inmates who escaped back to the 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 willfully surrender yourselves at the nearest law enforcement office,” Mr Aregbesola said.
The minister added that NCOs would not be cowed by elements seeking to compromise the security of the country, adding that the Federal Government would deal with the situation with absolute resolve.