The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Tuesday, said 1,993 inmates in legal custody were missing after two Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Custodial Centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked on Monday by protesters purportedly under the #ENDSARS aegis.
A statement signed by the Director, Press & Public Relations, Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Manga, on Tuesday evening, also said the weapons in the two Custodial Centres’ armouries were looted by the attackers.
“They came in large number, bearing 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 statement read in part.
While condemning the attack, the FG pointed out that most of the inmates held at the centres were convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offences, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes.
“Their being let loose gravely imperils lives and property.
“It is an unacceptable and intolerable threat to national and communal security.
The federal government, however, said the situation had been brought under control, adding that it had beefed up security in and around the custodial centres nationwide.
The statement also disclosed that government had commenced investigation to determine the full impact of the attack.
It further said that security agencies had commenced the tracking and apprehension of all the escaped inmates before they do any harm to anyone.
“Anyone who notices any person or persons that might have escaped from the custodial centres should, as a patriotic duty, inform the nearest security agency,” the statement stressed.