Authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) say over 800 inmates escaped the Kuje Prison on Tuesday night following an attack by suspected Boko Haram Terrorists.
According to a statement by on Wednesday by the Chief Superintendent of Corrections, Umar Abubakar, a total of 879 inmates escaped from the facility.
Mr Abubakar further stated that “443 of the escapees have been recaptured while 551 inmates are currently in custody, and 443 inmates are still at large,” however, these figures are do not seem to add up, especially in the light that the facility is said to have held only 994 inmates prior to the attack.
Reeling out more information regarding the incident, the Corrections Officer disclosed that four inmates died in the chaos while 16 others sustained various degree of injuries and are being treated at the moment.
He, however, emphasized that efforts are ongoing to recapture all fleeing inmates.
The Chief Superintendent of Corrections while revealing that the attackers broke into the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje using explosive devices through the main entrance and the fence of the facility respectively, said the gunmen killed a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the Custodial Centre and left three (3) other personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service seriously injured.
Regarding the welfare of the embattled police officer, DCP Abba Kyari and other VIPs held in the facility, Mr Abubakar said these individuals did not escape during Tuesday’s attack.
“This is also to confirms to the general public that DCP Abba Kyari and other VIPs held in the facility did not escape. They are presently in custody, hale and hearty,” he clarified.
Abubakar who issued the statement on behalf of the Controller General of Corrections, assured Nigerians that the Service will deploy its Corrections Information Management System (CIMS) in synergy with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody.
He noted that as at the time of the attack on the Kuje facility, there were 38 military personnel on ground in addition to peratives of the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Defence, DSS and the NCoS’ Armed Squad.
This, Abubakar said are part of efforts made by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to rejig the security architecture of the nation’s correctional facilities.
While apprising the public that some of the attackers were killed and some escaped with gunshot wounds, the NCoS’ spokesperson urged hospitals and other medical institutions and practitioners to report anyone that comes to them for treatment of gunshot injuries.
The NCoS authorities while appreciating the efforts of other security agencies for coming to the rescue of the Service in a timely manner, called on the public to volunteer useful information that may lead to the arrest of the fleeing inmates.
The Controller General of Corrections Haliru Nababa, reassured the public that the unfortunate incident is being handled with every sense of dedication and professionalism.
Nababa further extended his condolence to the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and wished the injured ones a quick recovery.