Many inmates escaped from Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kogi State in the early hours of Monday when unknown gunmen attacked the facility, killing a soldier and a policeman.
Two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for
The minister of interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, was briefed on the incident Monday morning by the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa.
The Minister was told that during the attack, security officers on duty, comprising 15 soldiers, 10 Police Officers and 10 armed guards of the NCoS, fought gallantly to repel the attackers.
A statement by the media adviser to the minister of interior, Mr. Sola Fasure, said the Minister had been briefed by the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) on the unfortunate attack on the Custodial Centre by yet to be identified gunmen.
The minister disclosed that the Kabba Custodial 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.
He said, however, 28 inmates stayed back and some had also voluntarily returned to the facility as at this morning.
He said the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional was currently monitoring the situation, noting that the tour of the facility is also ongoing.
He revealed that a Crisis Response Centre had been activated and a Special Taskforce mobilized to recapture escaped inmates whilst an Inter-Agency Security Task Force was already on the trail of the gunmen who attacked the facility.
He advised the public to stay calm as the situation was under control.
The minister assured the citizenry that Nigeria’s security forces will find the attackers and bring them to justice.
He said: “We shall leave no stone unturned to bring them back to custody. We are also putting INTERPOL on notice with their details, in case any of them attempts fleeing outside our shores.”
He said: “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.”
He warned the fleeing inmates that escaping from lawful custody was a serious criminal offence.
He said: “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 wilfully surrender yourselves at the nearest law enforcement office.”
Aregbesola said: “The Nigeria Correctional Service shall not be cowed by elements seeking to compromise the security of our nation; we shall deal with this situation with absolute resolve.”
He promised to provide further updates after the end of the preliminary assessment.