Although they are suspected to be Boko Haram militants, there is yet no evidence to establish a link between them and the insurgents who have been unleashing violence on several northern states since 2009.
Briefing the media on Monday at the headquarters of the 144 Battalion, Asa, where the suspects are being detained, commander of the battalion, Lt. Colonel Rasheed Omolori, said two buses escaped with their occupants.
He said the incident had been reported to defence headquarters in Abuja. He did not give any other details.
Also at the briefing were the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, and the commissioner for information and strategy, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo.
He also wondered how such “a long convoy” was not intercepted before it reached Abia State.
The army and other security agencies in the state were actively investing the suspects, he said.