The Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said that security forces have launched a manhunt for inmates who escaped from the Kabba Medium Custodial Centre in Kogi State in the early hours of Monday.
He however regretted the loss of a soldier, a policeman to the attacks, saying two personnel of the Correctional Centre are still missing.
The Minister said he had been briefed by the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, on the unfortunate attack on the Centre by unidentified gunmen.
He noted that 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.
A statement signed by Media Assistant to the Minister, Sola Fasure, said two officers of the Correctional Service are yet to be accounted for while one soldier and a policeman died during the attack.
The statement reads:”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 mobilised 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 wilfully 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.”