Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has confirmed the attack on a custodial centre in Oyo State.
A statement on Saturday by the Media Adviser to the Minister. Sola Fasure said: “At about 10.00 pm yesterday (Friday), October 22, 2021, a large number of heavily-armed gunmen attacked the Abolongo Custodial Centre, in Oyo, Oyo State.
“Armed squad unit members of the Nigerian Correctional Service and other security agencies on guard at the facility engaged the attackers in a gun duel that lasted for 20 minutes before they were overpowered.
“The attackers subsequently used grenades and other explosives to gain access into the awaiting trial section of the facility and set free many of the awaiting trial inmates. Other sections of the facilities were left untouched.”
Fasure revealed that the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service has been on the situation immediately the incident occurred.
He said the Minister of Interior has been briefed on the attack and he is monitoring the situation.
He, meanwhile, has assured members of the public to go about their normal businesses as the situation is under control, while requiring members of the public to report any suspicious movement or any sign of the escaped inmates and the gunmenin and around the vicinity to the nearest security post around them.
The Minister said security agencies are on the trail of the escaped inmates, while a joint security services manhunt has been launched immediately for the apprehension of the assailants.
He disclosed that this has led to the capture of some of the inmates while others returned voluntarily.
He however advised those who are on the run to turn themselves in, warning that as escape from lawful custody is a serious offense, threatening to bring the full weight of the law on them when arrested.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja