Gunmen have attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre in the Abolongo area of Oyo State, authorities said on Saturday, October 23, 2021.
An unconfirmed number of inmates are said to have escaped from the correctional facility during the attack which occurred at about 10pm on Friday, October 22, 2021, in Oyo town.
Olanrewaju Anjorin, the spokesperson for the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, confirmed the attack to Channels Television.
He explained that the gunmen arrived in Abolongo in large numbers and used explosives to gain access into the prison.
Anjorin also confirmed that several suspected criminals awaiting trial were freed by the gunmen during the attack.
According to him, NCoS authorities in the state swiftly mobilised support from other security agencies to trail the attackers and inmates, who are currently on the run.
Although the command spokesman could not ascertain if there was any casualty in the attack, he stated that investigations were ongoing.
Over 2,000 Inmates Flee
The attack on the custodial centre in Oyo town is the latest in the series of jailbreaks recorded in various parts of the country, during which many prisoners were freed.
Some of the fleeing inmates returned voluntarily, others were recaptured, while many are still on the run.
On April 5, Nigerian woke up to the disturbing news of an attack on Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State where gunmen forcefully released 1,844 inmates.
Francis Enobore, a spokesman for the NCoS Headquarters, has said the assailants blasted their way into the facility using explosives.
While the search and recovery operation to recapture the fleeing inmates commenced immediately, correctional were asked to be vigilant.
“As at the last count, six inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack,” Enobore had said in a statement shortly after the incident.
Five months after the jailbreak, a group of gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kabba, Kogi State where no fewer than 240 inmates escaped.
As of the time of the invasion, 294 inmates were said to be in custody, out of which 224 were pre-trial detainees and 70 convicted inmates.