November 30, 2021

Jos Prison break: 252 inmates on the loose, as attacker, 9 others shot dead


…10 recaptured, 6 dead bodies recovered as Lalong condemns attack

By Omeiza Ajayi & Marie-Therese Nanlong

The Nigeria Prisons Service, NPS, yesterday said one of the invading gunmen that attacked the Jos Medium Security Prison was killed in the gun duel  during the attack, saying a total of 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcement came from sister services.

NPS however informed that 10 had far so, been recaptured, leaving 252 at large. 

Spokesman of the Service, Francis Enobore, in a statement  in Abuja, lamented that one of the NPS Armed Squad personnel paid the supreme price in the encounter while nine inmates also lost their lives.

He said: “Another staff of the Service was shot in the hand and six inmates were also injured in the attack.” 

Enobore recalled that the attackers who stormed the prison  at about 5:20pm on Sunday had engaged the armed squad of the NPS in a fierce gun battle before breaking into the yard.   

According to him, some of the attackers and a total of 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcement came from sister services, noting “however, 10 have so far been recaptured, leaving 252 at large. 

“The Comptroller-General, CG of the service,  Haliru Nababa condoled with the family and friends of the gallant officer who paid the ultimate price in the encounter promising that the death will not be in vain as all the perpetrators will be hunted and made to face the full wrath of the law.”

Giving details of the arrest, authorities of Nigeria Police, Plateau State Command, said the fleeing inmates were re-arrested during a stop and search operation by Police operatives.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the Command, Gabriel Ubah, who spoke to journalists, among others, noted that upon receipt of the report of the attack, the Commissioner of Police Plateau State Command,  Bartholomew Onyeka who led reinforcement to the scene, directed that the entire centre be cordoned.

Ubah said: “The CP also directed immediate stop and search where nine escapees have been re-captured by the Police and are in custody while one escapee voluntarily surrendered himself to the Police. Based on the prompt response, the situation was brought under control by the superior gunfire of Security Agencies.”

Cattle rustlers blamed for attack

Meanwhile, suspected cattle rustlers from Barkin LGA,  of the state have been fingered for the attack

Head of the facility, Samuel Aguda, said: “The attackers were suspected Fulani cattle rustlers from Barkin Ladi. Some of the inmates took part in attacking us because they gave them rifles from our armoury. 10 escapees were captured while two were brought back by their parents. Six were fatally injured, 252 escaped and 789 are in custody. We are hoping that with the combined efforts of security agencies, the escapees will be arrested. We have learned one or two lessons from this incident; we want to assure that this will not happen again.”

He added that no invader was trapped in the facility as those who invaded the place escaped without being arrested except that one of them was killed.

Lalong condemns attack

Meantime, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, has condemned the attack, describing it as unfortunate.

The Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham,  in a statement, said, “Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has condemned in strong terms the attack on the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos which took place on Sunday when gunmen reportedly stormed the facility in large numbers with sophisticated weapons. Governor Lalong while condemning the unfortunate incident however praised the gallantry of officers and men of the Jos Custodial Centre who rose to the occasion to thwart the plans of the criminals whose mission was to facilitate the escape of inmates and also cause destruction to the facility.