A Nigerian Correctional Service spokesman said in a statement that the correctional facility in Kogi district of Kabba was set on fire by unidentified gunmen who raided the place and “immediately engaged the armed guards in a fierce gun battle”.
“The incident happened about 2345 hours on September 12, 2021,” said Francis Enobore, spokesman for the Correctional Service.
Enobore said no less than 294 detainees were in custody at the time of the attack, stating that “224 are detainees and 70 are convicted convicts”.
He added that a “retrieval procedure” had been activated to find the escaping prisoners.
A regional police chief told CNN that a police officer was killed during the raid.
“Large numbers of gunmen attacked from all angles and did not give the correctional service any opportunity to respond,” said Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, an assistant inspector general of police for the region.
“One police inspector was killed, another police inspector was injured and taken to hospital,” he added. “Three of the escaping prisoners have been arrested again.”
No specific category of prisoners was targeted for release by the attackers, Ekpeji said.
The Kogi prison breach comes five months after nearly 2,000 inmates were released from a prison in the southeastern Nigerian state of Imo after gunmen stormed a detention center and used explosives to blow up parts of the prison, authorities said at the time.
Nigerian Police Force blamed the breakaway groups
in the southeast region for the attack that took place in April.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari described Imo prison break as “an act of terrorism
, “but has not yet commented on the recent raid on Kogi prison.
Nigeria is facing one of its worst security crises in recent years, as insurgency, separatist conflicts, banditry and ransom kidnappings remain on the rise.
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