Officials of the Jos Correctional Centre in Plateau State, have recovered several six dead bodies following the attack on the custodial centre by gunmen who stormed the facility in with sophisticated weapons.
Meanwhile, the public relations officer of the Plateau State Police Command, ASP Gabriel Agaba, in a statement confirmed the re-arrest of seven escapees by the Police following a stop-and-search directive by the State Commissioner of Police.
He added that one escapee voluntarily surrendered himself to the Police.
It was not clear whether the dead bodies are those of the gunmen who attacked the facility or inmates who attempted to escape.
Investigations, however, revealed that one JCC officer was killed and another shot in the arm when the invaders arrived at the Custodial Center at about 1720hrs on Sunday and immediately made for the main gate where they engaged the armed squad personnel in a gun battle before breaking into the compound.
The front office housing the records of the JCC was set on fire by the rampaging invaders.
As at the time of filing this report, officials of the Jos Custodial Center were still trying to ascertain the extent of damage to the facility, take head count of the inmates and positively identify the bodies to be sure if or not the invaders are among the dead.
Meanwhile, Governor Simon Lalong has 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 condemned in strong terms the attack which took place on Sunday evening when gunmen stormed the facility in large number with sophisticated weapons.
According to a statement issued in Jos and signed by the directo of Press at the Government House Jos, Dr. Simon Makut Macham, Lalong commended 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 the 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 jailbreaks 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.
The governor has also directed an immediate boosting of security measures around all custodial facilities in the State, assuring 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.
The statement further added that while awaiting the full report of the incident, the governor asked the residents 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.
Similarly, the chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Plateau State chapter, Rufus Bature, has commended security agencies in the state over their gallantry in handling the Sunday evening attack on the Jos Correctional Centre by armed hoodlums.
The APC chairman in a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Hon. Sylvanus Namang, made available to journalists on Monday morning noted that the quick response and collaboration between the security agencies is more of what is needed at this period of security challenges bedevilling the state and country.
The statement reads in part: “The dare devil attackers, who the party is informed, some are still trapped inside the custodial centre, should when arrested, not be treated with kid gloves but must be made to pay dearly for their action as a deterrent to such criminals in our midst.
“Rufus Bature equally commended the prompt rearresting of some escaping inmates and the one who submitted himself to the police.
“The APC in the state noted that jail breaks which have become a new trend of criminality in the country, should be nibbed in the bud as it poses a great threat to national security and an insult on our psyche.
“The party calls for serious re strategising, remodelling and modernising of the prison system across the country.
“He warns our youth not to allow themselves to be used by enemies of the state to destabilise it in whatever form but to engage in productive endeavours.”