Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior on Monday disclosed that a soldier and a police officer lost their lives while two armed guards of the Custodial Centre remain missing when heavily armed gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC) located in Kabba, Kogi State, and set free 224 inmates.
Haliru Nababa, who briefed the Minister said the heavily armed gunmen overpowered the 15 soldiers, 10 police officers, 10 armed guards of Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) on duty before using explosives to breach the perimeter fences of the Custodial Centre.
The 200-capacity Kabba Custodial facility was housing 294 inmates, including 70 convicted criminals, at the time of the attack. Many of the inmates escaped after the gunmen used explosives to destroy three sides of the perimeter fence.
Only 28 inmates stayed back or voluntarily returned to the facility following the attack.
Meanwhile, Francis Enobore, Public Relations Officers of NCoS has said that CG Corrections has launched a recapture operation for the escapees and that a crisis response centre has been activated while an inter-agency security task force is on the trail of the attackers.
The Minister who urged members of the public to remain calm and vigilant, assures 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.
He reminded the fleeing inmates escaping from lawful custody that their actions constitute 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 Minister warned.
The Kabba Medium Security Custodial Centre was established in 2008 with a capacity of 200. At the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were in custody out of which 224 are pre-trial detainees and 70 were convicted inmates.
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