Jos Correctional Centre in Plateau State came under heavy attack by gunmen yesterday evening with the aim of freeing some inmates in the facility.
LEADERSHIP gathered that some of the attackers lost their lives in their attempt to free some targeted inmates while others were trapped in the prison complex.
While confirming the development to newsmen in Jos, the state capital, the controller of corrections (PRO) on behalf of the controller-general of corrections, Mr Francis Enobore, said in a statement last night that the Medium Security Custodial Centre in Jos, Plateau State came under attack by gunmen who stormed the facility in large number with sophisticated weapons.
He said the invaders were said to have arrived at the custodial centre at about 1720hrs and immediately made for the main gate where they engaged the armed squad personnel in a gun battle before breaking into the yard.
Enobore said although the hoodlums gained entrance to the yard, they were however trapped within as men from some sister security services were immediately mobilised to assist the armed guards to cordon the perimeter wall and the entire area.
He said a reinforcement from the response squad of the Service was also mobilised to the centre.
Enobore added that the situation was brought under control as the attackers’ firing power was subdued by superior fire from a combined team of security agencies
Earlier yesterday, a source said the gunmen stormed the centre at about 5.45pm when the sound of gun shots was heard within the centre located very close to Police Area Command and the office of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The security operatives were sent in and were said to have engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel.
However, an eyewitness who did not want his name in print claimed that some prisoners escaped while some of the gunmen lost their lives.
He also said most of them are trapped in the correctional centre as men of the joint security operation of the “Operation Safe Haven”, which surrounded the prison and its environs.
An official of the prison also confirmed that the attackers freed some of the inmates but lost their lives in the process while most of them are trapped with no exit routes. He alleged that they ran out of ammunition leading to a ceasefire on their side.
The casualty figure could not be established last night.
As at the time of writing this report, the police had cordoned off the road leading to the city centre which also houses the DSS, the Police A Division, the police headquarters and the police barracks.