OYO PRISON BREAK: Two Die, 262 Inmates Rearrested, 575 Still at Large - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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Two people have been confirmed dead after an attack on the Medium Security Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Services, Abolongo, Oyo town, Oyo State.

At least two security operatives also sustained life threatening injuries in the late Friday night attack on the facility.

The deceased persons include an operative of Oyo State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps and an inmate who was trying to seize the opportunity of the attack on the centre to escape.

A military officer attached to the Oyo State Joint Security Patrol Team, codenamed Operation Burst and another Amotekun Corps member were said to be critically injured in the attack.

No fewer than 847 inmates of the facility were reported to have escaped during the attack.

However, 262 of the inmates have been rearrested through collaborative efforts other sister security agencies with the local security personnel, including members of the Vigilante Group and local hunters, barely 12 hours after the attack.

As at the time of filing this report last night, 575 of the inmates were confirmed to be at large.

According to The Nation, a source at the Oyo Custodial Centre, which was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates, had a population of 907 inmates at the time of the attack.

The source added that out of the figure, 837 persons, representing 92 percent of the inmates, were awaiting trial while 64 others were convicts.

Some of the high profile inmates detained in the facility include the Fulani warlord, Iskil Wakil; a serial killer, Sunday Shodipe and the CEO of Crime Alert Security Network, Mr. Olaniyan Amos.

The residential quarter of the head of the facility was also damaged as the gunmen attacked the building with grenades and heavy gunshots, but the top official was said to be away from the quarter at the time of the attack.

The Nation also observed that the iron door at the entrance of the main building of the centre was severely damaged.

Most of the damaged items were riddled with bullets and explosives.

Another source privy to the incident explained that the invaders arrived at the centre armed with sophisticated weapons, and after a fierce encounter with the officers on guard, gained entry into the yard by using dynamite to blast the wall.

The source further explained that while the attackers forced all the awaiting trial detainees out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not touched.

Confirming the attack, the Controller of Correctional, Oyo State Command, Mr. Noel Ailewon, said close to 300 inmates of the facility who escaped during the attack had been captured.

When asked about the safety of the high profile inmates at the facility, the Oyo Controller of Correctional said they were in custody, even though he neither confirmed nor denied the presence of the top names mentioned to him.

According to him, the gunmen that attacked the facility stormed the place around 10pm on Friday in large numbers and with sophisticated weapons.

Ailewon said he was informed about the incident around 10:05pm by the head of the custodial centre, noting that there were varying degrees of injury but only one casualty was recorded. The casualty, he said, was an inmate that attempted to escape.

Journalists who visited Abolongo were not allowed to enter the main Custodial Centre.

The spokesperson of the command, Olanrewaju Anjorin said journalists were not allowed entry into the facility because the place was being treated as a crime scene.

Shortly after the interview with Ailewon, recaptured inmates were brought into the facility in a mini Black Maria and later with another big one.

Efforts made by our reporter to confirm the identity of the security operative that died during the attack yielded no result as prison officials declined comments.

But the Director-General of an Oyo State Joint Security outfit, codenamed Operation Burst, Colonel James Oladipo said that no soldier had died as at 1:30pm on Saturday, saying however, that a soldier was critically injured and he was not sure if he could survive the night injury.

However, a group of soldiers that sat under a tree, apparently on a reinforcement mission to the facility, were heard discussing the death of one of their colleagues during the gun duel that ensued in the attack.

A pick-up van, belonging to Operation Burst was sighted a few metres to the entrance of the Abolongo facility, riddled with bullets.

Heavy bloodstains were noticed in the vehicle as the military officers tried to get the engine to work.

A top source in Amotekun Corps, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the death of one of them and injury to others, saying that the corps would make the news public in due course.

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