The minister of defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), has said that all the Boko Haram suspects held in Kuje Correctional Centre in the federal capital territory (FCT) escaped when their fighters bombed the facility on Tuesday night.
No fewer than five persons were reported killed during the night attack.
Among those killed was a civil defence personnel attached to the facility, while four inmates, said to have attempted an escape, were also killed.
Addressing the media at the facility in Abuja in Abuja on Wednesday, who identified the invaders as Boko Haram insurgents said 64 inmates of the Islamist terrorist organisation could not be accounted for after the attack.
“What actually happened, they came in their numbers and released some of the inmates. We are now trying to set the kind of inmates they released,” he said.
“We are trying to see what we can do to see that all escapes within the prison accommodation are brought back to the prison yard.
“About 994 inmates, we have about 600 already inside now. Many people are being recaptured. The people who came to do this from the records belong to a particular group, from all indicators they are Boko haram.
“Presently we could not locate any of them. Currently, they are about 64 of them as inmates and we could not locate them,” he said.
Spokesman for the service, Mr. Abubakar Umar, in an updated statement, added that the suspended deputy commissioner of police, Mr. Abba Kyari, and other high profile inmates were still in custody.
It was also learnt that security operatives had begun a search and rescue mission with support from the air force to retake the fleeing inmates.
Meanwhile, an unnamed prison source told Punch that about 100 fleeing inmates had been recaptured.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari visited the correctional centre to assess the level of damage caused to the facility.
He visited the centre before leaving for Dakar, Senegal, for the International Development Association (IDA) for Africa Summit.