THE Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has disclosed that 879 inmates escaped from the Kuje Prison after gunmen attacked the facility on Tuesday night.
The NCoS said five persons, including an officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and four inmates, died during the attack.
Gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram, fled with all 64 of their members kept at the facility.
In an operation that reportedly lasted for hours, the NCoS said the terrorists used explosives on the fence and main entrance to gain access to the facility.
Some of the gunmen died during the attack, while three personnel of the Service,l were seriously injured, the NCoS disclosed in a statement released on Wednesday by its spokesperson, Umar Abubakar.
The statement disclosed that the former head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari, who is standing trial for alleged drug trafficking, and other VIPs in custody, did not flee during the attack.
The Service said that 551 inmates were in custody while adding that 879 inmates escaped from the facility, out of which it has recaptured 443, while another 443 are still at large. These figures are however at variance as 443 + 443 equals 886 and not 879 as stated by the spokesperson.
The Service said it would collaborate with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to track fleeing inmates.
Part of its statement reads, “A total of 879 inmates escaped from the facility during the unfortunate attack. As of the time of this report, 443 have been recaptured, 551 inmates are currently in custody, 443 inmates are still at large, four inmates are dead, and 16 inmates sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated at the moment.
“However, efforts are ongoing to recapture all fleeing inmates.
“The Service will deploy its Corrections Information Management System in synergy with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to track all fleeing inmates and return them to custody.”
The NCoS urged members of the public to provide information that will help in capturing the escaped prisoners.
“The public is also informed that some of the attackers were killed while some escaped with gunshot wounds. We, therefore, appeal to hospitals and other medical institutions and practitioners to report anyone that comes to them for treatment for gunshot injuries to the nearest law enforcement agency,” the statement added.