Armed men have attacked a prison facility in Kabba, Kogi state, killing two officials and freeing many inmates, the federal government has confirmed.
The government, however, assured that it was mobilising Interpol to track down the jail breakers some of whom may have crossed the nation’s border.
Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola announced this in a statement Monday by his media aide, Shola Fasure.
The incident was believed to have happened in the late hours of Sunday.
Fasure also said security officers on duty, comprising 15 soldiers, 10 Police officers and 10 armed guards of the Nigeria Correctional Service “fought gallantly to repel the attack.
“Regrettably, two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack.”
Fasure said: “Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has been briefed by the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, on the unfortunate attack on Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre, in Kabba, Kogi State, by yet to be identified gunmen.
“During the attack, security officers on duty which comprised of 15 Soldiers, 10 Police Officers and 10 armed guards of the NCoS on duty fought gallantly to repel the attack. Regrettably, two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman lost their lives during the attack.
“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. However, there remains 28 inmates who didn’t escape. Some have also voluntarily returned to the facility as at this morning.
“The Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, is currently monitoring the situation. A tour of the facility is also ongoing.
“A Crisis Response Centre has been activated and a Special Taskforce mobilized to recapture escaped inmates whilst 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.
“The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, assures the citizenry that Nigeria’s security forces will find the attackers and bring them to justice. 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.
“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.
“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.
“Further updates will be provided after the end of the preliminary assessment.”