1,844 inmates escape, as gunmen attack Owerri prison


  • NCS launches investigation
  • IGP reinforces security
  • IPOB denies involvement

One thousand eight hundred and forty-four inmates have escaped from the Federal Custodial Centre in Owerri, Imo State.

The escape of the prisoners followed an attack by gunmen numbering over one hundred, who stormed the Custodial Centre in the early hours of yesterday.

The number of the fleeing prison inmates was confirmed by the authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Abuja.

The gunmen also attacked the Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, where they set several buildings and vehicles on fire, just like what happened at the Correctional Centre.

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and heads of security agencies in Imo State, visited both locations yesterday, after an emergency security council meeting.

Governor Uzodinma also said that one person who died in the attack on the prison was not as a result of gunshot.

Governor Uzodinma also could not confirm the report of another attack on a military checkpoint along the Owerri-Onitsha road.

Meanwhile; the Nigerian Correctional Service has launched an investigation into the attack on the Owerri Custodial Centre.

The order by the Acting Controller-General of Corrections, John Mrabure, was confirmed in a statement by the spokesman for the Correctional Service, Francis Enobore.

He said the attackers arrived at the location in several vehicles, and engaged security personnel on duty with sophisticated weapons, including explosives.

In a related development; the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has blamed the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network for the attacks in Owerri, Imo State.

I.G.P. Adamu has also directed the Imo State Commissioner of Police and the Special Investigation Team to identify those who carried out the attacks and make them to face justice.

The Police Chief also approved the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force and other Police Tactical Squads to strengthen security in Imo State.

The I.G.P. said the attackers attempted to break into the armory at the Imo State Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, but they were resisted.

Meanwhile; the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra has denied any involvement in the multiple attacks in Imo State.

A spokesman for the group, identified as Emma Powerful, disclosed in a statement to the media that the IPOB and the Eastern Security Network are not made up of unknown gunmen.

Emma Powerful noted that members of the ESN are in the bush chasing Fulani terrorists, and had no links to the attacks in Owerri.


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