Unknown gunmen on Monday attacked the Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State and forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody.
The attackers, who stormed the facility at about 2:15ham, gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administration block.
They were said to have arrived the centre in several Toyota Hilux pick-up vans and Sienna buses, armed with sophisticated weapons and immediately engaged the security personnel on duty in a fierce gun battle.
The acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure, has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident and in collaboration with other security organisations commenced a search and recover operations to recapture the fleeing inmates.
While appealing to residents with useful intelligence that could facilitate the recovery effort, Mrabure also directed all officers attached to custodial facilities to remain vigilant at this trying moment in the nation’s history.
According to the Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, six inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility, while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack.