Eleven people were killed and 252 inmates escaped from the Jos custodial centre in Nigeria’s Plateau state when a group of unidentified gunmen attacked the facility Sunday.
One of the gunmen was among the people killed.
Francis Enobore, a spokesman for the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), said in a statement that one of the guards at the facility and nine inmates died during the attack.
Enobore said another member of the staff was shot in the hand and six inmates were also injured in the attack.
According to the spokesperson, some attackers and 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcement could come from sister services, noting that 10 inmates have so far been recaptured, leaving 252 at large.
Enobore said efforts are ongoing to hunt down all “the perpetrators,” and the situation has been brought under control with security further beefed up at the facility.
He called for collaboration from locals to apprehend the fleeing inmates and for volunteering credible intelligence that could “nip such ugly incidents in the bud.”
The Jos Custodial Centre at the time of the attack had 1,060 inmates, comprising 560 pre-trial detainees and 500 convicts, said Enobore.
The national PRO said that the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa had condoled with the family and friends of the gallant officer who paid the ultimate price in the encounter and promised that his death would not be in vain.
Nababa promised to go after all the perpetrators and be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He thanked the officers and men of other security agencies for the support in bringing the situation under control and assured members of the public that the safety of inmates including their care and support, would continue to be the top priority of his administration.
The Nigerian government last month said that it had launched an audit of prison facilities in the country to determine their vulnerability, following a spate of jailbreaks in parts of the country in recent months.
Before the latest jailbreak, close to 4,000 inmates had escaped from various prisons.