By IBIRONKE ARIYO
ABUJA- The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has said that four inmates of the Kuje Custodial Centre died and 879 escaped during the attack by the unknown Gunmen.
The Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Mr Abubakar Umar, confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Umar said 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.
He said that a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the Custodial Centre was killed adding that three personnel of the NCoS were seriously injured.
“A total of 879 inmates escaped from the facility during the unfortunate attack. As at the time of this report, 443 have been recaptured, 551 inmates are currently in custody, 443 inmates are still at large.
“Four inmates are dead and 16 inmates sustained various degree of injuries and are being treated at the moment. However, efforts are ongoing to recapture all fleeing inmates, ” he said.
Umar said that the Service would 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 also confirmed to the general public that DCP Abba Kyari and other VIPs held in the facility did not escape adding that they were presently in custody, hale and hearty.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that after the attack at the Medium Custodial Centre in Agbolongo, Oyo state, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, met with heads of security agencies under his supervision.
This is where the idea of Joint Security Task force comprising the NCoS , Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the NSCDC was formed to forstall further breaches on custodial facilities.
According to Umar, as at the time of the attack on the Kuje facility, we have 38 military personnel on ground in addition to that of the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Defence, DSS and our Armed Squad.
“This is the Minister’s efforts to rejig the security architecture of our facilities.
“The public is also informed that some of the attackers were killed while some escaped with gunshot wounds.
“We, therefore, appeal to hospitals and other medical institutions and practitioners to report anyone that comes to them for treatment for gunshot injuries to the nearest law enforcement agency,” he said.
Umar said the Controller General, NCoS, Mr Haliru Nababa appreciated the efforts of other security agencies for coming to the rescue of the Service in a timely manner.
Nababa called on the public to volunteer useful information that might lead to the arrest of the fleeing inmates.
He reassured the public that the unfortunate incident was being handled with every sense of dedication and professionalism.
He extended his condolence to the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and wished the injured a quick recovery. (NAN)