At least 240 inmates have escaped the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, following an attack by yet to be identified gunmen.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) spokesman, Mr Francis Enobore confirmed the incident in a communique on Monday, stating that the attack took place at about midnight on Sunday.
According to him, the attackers in their numbers arrived at the custodial centre heavily armed and immediately engaged the guards in a fierce gun battle.
Mr Enobore further disclosed that the Comptroller–General, Haliru Nababa has ordered a recapture procedure to be activated immediately and detailed investigation carried out even as he leads a team to assess the situation.
The Comptroller-General also appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees.
Kabba MSCC was established in 2008 with a capacity of 200.
As of the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were in custody out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.
The latest jailbreak comes a few months after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Correctional Service and the police headquarters in Imo State, freeing 1,844 inmates, after which the hoodlums set the facilities ablaze.
The gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters. No fewer than 50 cars were set ablaze in the process.
A similar attack was carried out at the correctional centre in Ubiaja, Edo State; however, the jailbreak was foiled by officers at the facility.
The inmates, after breaking out from their cells, engaged the correctional officers in a fight, leaving some of the security personnel injured.
It took a combined effort by officers from the Nigerian Army, 4th brigade, and the Edo command of the Nigeria Police Force, to eventually overpower the inmates and return them to their cells.