By Marcus Ikechukwu
The Nigerian Correctional Service has confirmed the death of personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) and four inmates as 879 inmates escaped from Custody following Tuesday night’s attack at the Kuje Medium security Custodial Center in Kuje, Abuja.
Terrorists attacked the custodial center and breached the fences with explosives before releasing hundreds of inmates, including 64 Boko Haram captors kept in the facility.
Umar Abubakar, Public Relations Officer of the Service, in a statement, however, disclosed that high profile inmates held in the facility, including DCP Abba Kyari and other VIPs did not escape and are well and secure.
A number of personnel of the Correctional Service he said received various degrees of injury during the attack and are currently receiving treatment.
He said the combined efforts of security Agencies mobilized to the scene last night had resulted in the recapture of 443 escapees who have since been returned to the center .
In a related development, the Chief of Defense Staff, Lt. Gen Lucky Orabor who toured the breached facility stated that about 64 Boko Haram fighters held in the facility escaped from Custody.
Umar Abubakar said effort is being intensified to arrest and return the fleeing inmates back into custody.
“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, 4 inmates 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”.
Abubakar disclosed that the Service will deploy the Correction’s Information Management System (CIMS) in synergy with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody.
As the news of the jailbreak unfold, questions have been raised how a medium facility could be so easily attacked allegedly for hours before help could come.
Recall that in the wake of the attack on the Medium Custodial Centre in Agbolongo, Oyo state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had directed the heads of the security agencies under his supervision create a Joint SecurityTaskforce comprising the Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Despite the formation of the Taskforce and presence of. 38 military personnels on ground in addition to personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, Civil Defence, DSS and other Armed Squad, the development it did not stop the present incident
That not withstanding, the Controller General of Corrections Haliru Nababa has sent a word of appreciation to sister security agencies for coming to the rescue of the Service in a timely manner. He calls on the public to volunteer useful information that may lead to the arrest of the fleeing inmates.
The CG has reassured the public that the unfortunate incident is been handled with every sense of dedication and professionalism. He further extends his condolence to the families of those who lost their lives during the attack and wishes the injured ones a quick recovery.