By PETERS On Nov 30, 2021

Security agents were still at Jos custodial centre yesterday after gunmen attacked the facility on Sunday.

The assailants were resisted by a combined team of armed custodial squad, police, troops and other agents, culminating in a heavy shootout.

Nine escapee inmates were reportedly shot dead in the crossfire while 262 inmates escaped, the correctional centre said.

One member of the custodial squad died, while one of the bandits was also killed.

In a stop-and-search operation launched after the attack, 10 of the escapees have returned to the facility, but while nine of them were recaptured, one was said to have willingly returned.

The gunmen also escaped with their members in custody, sources said.

“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,” spokesman Gabriel Ubah said yesterday in a statement.

The escape of the 262 inmates was confirmed by the spokesman of the centre, Francis Enobore, who said one official of the custodial facility was shot in the hand.

It was learnt that at the time of the attack, the Jos Medium Security Custodial Centre had 1,060 inmates comprising 560 pre-trial detainees and 500 convicts.

The Plateau State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) condemned the assault and hailed the security agencies for their gallantry in responding to it.

The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Sylvanus Namang, said the attackers, when apprehended, must not be treated with kid gloves but must be made to pay dearly for their action as a deterrent to others.

Governor Simon Lalong also condemned the attack and praised the security officials for their timely intervention.

The governor directed that security be strengthened around all custodial facilities in the state, adding that the state and the federal government will do everything possible to prevent such attacks in future.