President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Tuesday confirmed that two Custodial Centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked on Monday.
The Director of Public Relations in the Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga confirmed this in a statement released on Tuesday.
Manga in his statement noted that at the last count, 1,993 inmates escaped from custody.
He further stated that the hoodlums looted the custody and took away weapons.
Manga added that the attackers came in large numbers with dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty.
“They were unmistakable on their mission, which was to force the cells open, free the inmates and carry out other nefarious activities.”
“The situation has been brought under control while security in and around the custodial centres nationwide has been beefed up. Investigations have commenced, to determine the full impact of the attack.”
The spokesperson stated that attacking a custodial centre is a criminal act.
The government reiterated that the custodial centres are high-security zones and that the primary duty of the institution is to keep custody of convicted criminals and awaiting trial suspects.
“The integrity of the custodial centres is, therefore, fundamental to justice. Inmates of the centres are expected to pay their dues to society, undergo reformation and be reintegrated into society as changed-for-better persons.”
“When this process is disrupted in any way, the integrity of justice and societal renewal is subverted, with dire and unimaginable consequences.”
“Most of the inmates held at the centres are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offences, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes.”
He noted that the released of the criminals put the lives and property of Nigerians in danger.
“Government’s primary duty is to protect lives and property and keep the people safe. We shall not be shirking in our responsibility and we shall not disappoint the people”, Manga added.
He assured the people of Edo State that the police in conjunction with other security operatives will track down all suspects.
He called on people with information on the escapees to report to the police.
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