No fewer than 240 inmates at the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) in Kabba, Kogi State, have escaped from jail following an attack on the facility by yet to be identified heavily armed gunmen.
The attackers, who were said to have arrived in their numbers at the custodial facility (Prison), engaged the armed guards in a fierce gun battle.
The unfortunate incident was confirmed by the Spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Mr Francis Enobore, in a communique on Monday, stating that the attack took place at about midnight on Sunday.
Enobore said that the Comptroller–General, Haliru Nababa, has ordered that a recapture procedure be immediately activated and detailed investigation carried out even as he leads a team to assess the situation at the facility.
The Comptroller-General also appealed to the general public to furnish security operatives with useful intelligence that will assist in recapturing the escapees.
There were reportedly 294 inmates at the custodial facility as at the time of the invasion, out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.
There have been several reported cases of large prison outbreaks in recent times with the latest jailbreak coming a few months after gunmen on April 5, 2021, 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 burnt down the Imo State Police Command headquarters with almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters razed.
A similar attack was carried out at the correctional centre in Ubiaja, Edo State; however, the jailbreak was foiled by officers at the facility.
Nigerian security forces have been overwhelmed and had to deal with attacks by terrorists, bandits and even kidnappers in the northern part of the country including the middle belt.