Men having various weapons on Monday morning attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison in the Imo State capital and 1,844 inmates. This was confirmed in a statement released on the official Facebook of the Nigeria correctional service. The full statement goes as follows;
‘Owerri Custodial Centre Attacked by Unknown GunmenThe Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State has been attacked by unknown gunmen and forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody. The attackers who stormed the facility at about 0215hrs on Monday 5th April, 2021, gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block. They were said to have arrived the centre in their large number in several Hilux pick-up vans and Sienna Buses armed with sophisticated weapons and immediately engaged the security personnel on duty in a fierce gun battle. They eventually detonated the explosive to gain entrance. The Acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident and in collaboration with other security organizations, commenced a search and recover operations to recapture the fleeing inmates. While appealing to the good citizens of Imo State and indeed Nigerians to volunteer useful intelligence that will facilitate the recovery effort, the Ag. Controller-General wishes to assure that the security of custodial centres in the country remains sacrosanct. He equally directed all officers attached to custodial facilities to remain vigilant at this trying moment in our history. As at the last count, 6 inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack.
mniPublic Relations Officer,
For: Controller-General of Corrections’
As at the time of writing this report, it is still not clear who the attackers are or what their intentions could be.
“The hoodlums also attacked the Police State Headquarters Owerri while firing consistently with AK 47 rifles and explosives, released some suspects detained in the SCID cell and put fire on so many vehicles parked at the Headquarter premises including the SCID office building.”
They were said to have sang solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities, a security source confided in our correspondent.