By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Nine fleeing inmates from the Jos Correctional Centre have been arrested by the Plateau State Police Command, this is even as one inmate who earlier left voluntarily surrendered himself.
The arrest was made during a stop and search operation carried out by the Police, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Ubah disclosed.
Ubah who spoke with journalists on Monday in Jos, “On 28/11/2021 at about 1720hrs, the medium-security custodial centre in Jos came under attack by yet to be identified gunmen where some inmates escaped. Upon receipt of the report, the Commissioner of Police Plateau State Command, CP Bartholomew Onyeka who led reinforcement to the scene, directed that the entire centre be cordoned.
“The CP also directed immediate stop and search where nine (9) 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. The Police and other Security Agencies are currently on the ground to effectively deprive the hoodlums of the space they desire to perpetrate their evil acts.”
Despite the purported trapping of some assailants, there has been no arrest recorded as security agents say profiling of those in custody is ongoing, though the office holding the records of the JCC was set alight by the invaders.
As at the time of writing this report officials of the Jos Custodial Centre were still trying to ascertain the extent of damage to the facility, take headcounts of the inmates and positively identify the bodies to be sure if or not the invaders are among the dead.
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Meanwhile, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has condemned in strong terms the attack, describing it as unfortunate.
He praised the gallantry of officers and men of security agencies 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.
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.
“Lalong also praised the quick reaction of other security agencies including the Police, Operation Safe Haven, DSS, NSCDC and Operation Rainbow who responded swiftly to the situation and took charge of the general area leading to entrapment of the assailants as well as arrest of fleeing inmates. While describing the sad event as one too many in the nation’s correctional system, Lalong said it was high time a wholistic approach is applied in bringing such attacks and jail breaks to an end in order to guarantee the safety of inmates, correctional officers, and the larger society from criminals who choose to attack the very essence of Nigeria’s legal system by disrupting law and order.”
While directing an immediate boosting of security measures around all Custodial facilities in the State, he assured that the State Government will work with the Federal Government in every way possible to ensure that all Correctional Facilities in the State are protected from such attacks.
He asked citizens of the State to remain calm and go about their legitimate duties with utmost vigilance by reporting any suspicious activity to security agencies for prompt and decisive action.