The Acting Controller-General, Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, John Mrabure, has disclosed that about 35 inmates refused to escape while 6 others returned voluntarily after the attack that occurred at the Owerri Custodial Centre at the early hours of Monday.
The attack by unknown gunmen had forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody.
The attackers, who stormed the facility at about 02:15hrs on Monday 5th April, 2021, gained entrance into the premises by using explosives to blast the administrative block.
They were said to have arrived at the centre in their large number in several Hilux Pick-Up vans and Sienna buses armed with sophisticated weapons and immediately engaged the security personnel on duty in a fierce gun battle.
The invaders eventually detonated explosives to gain entrance.
Releasing a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the NCoS spokesperson, Francis Enobore, said Mr Mrabure had ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
He said: “As at the last count, six inmates have so far voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape from custody during the attack,” he said.
According to the statement, Mr Mrabure said that the assignment, which would be carried out in collaboration with other security organisations, has commenced with a Search and Recover Operations to recapture the fleeing inmates.
Mr Mrabure appealed to the good citizens of Imo and indeed Nigerians to volunteer useful information that would facilitate the recapture of the fleeing inmates.
He, however, assured the people that the security of custodial centres across the country remained sacrosanct.
He equally directed all officers attached to custodial facilities to remain vigilant at this trying period of the NCoS.