Gunmen on Monday morning attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison in the Imo State capital and freed 1,844 inmates, the corrections authorities have said.
Alongside the prison, the attackers also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
The hoodlums further freed the suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command.
The gunmen operated from 1:00 a.m till 3:00 a.m on Monday.
They sang solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities, a security source confided in our correspondent.
On breaking into the prison facility with the aid of explosives and dynamite, the attackers told the inmates to go home.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attacks at the prison and at the Imo State Police Command headquarters.
He, however, assured the people of the state that the security agencies were on top of the matter.
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Also, the Imo State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service confirmed the attack on its facility.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, James Madugba, told journalists that the authorities were still trying to get the accurate data of inmates who escaped and the level of devastation caused.
He explained that details will be shared as soon as accurate information and data is collected.
“There was an attack on the Nigerian Correctional Centre very early this morning around 2:15 am and some of these vehicles were burnt.
“Fire service came to assist the much they can to stop the fire from causing more damages. We are yet to confirm exactly what happened,” Madugba said.
According to him, no figure has been given on the number of casualties because there was a gun battle between the police and the gunmen.
No fewer than 50 cars were set ablaze in the process.
This is the third attack in less than a month on police facilities in Imo State.