Gunmen invade Akure prison, free 175 inmates

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akure_jailbreakSome heavily armed men early Sunday morning invaded the Olokuta Medium Prison located along Akure/Ondo road, Akure, the Ondo state capital and freed 175 inmates, in an operation that could be compared to a well scripted scene in a Hollywood movie.

The freed inmates according to sources included condemned criminals and those serving different jail terms for henious crimes.

Before they invaded the prison, they had killed two persons whose vehicle broke down along the Ondo road at the entrance to the prison yard.

The office of the Nigeria Prison Service is about 300 meters from the 32 Army Artillery Brigade and Owena Barack of the 323 Army Regiment.

The armed men, whose number could not be ascertained, invaded the prison around 12:05am and headed straight to the prison tower, shot sporadically to the gate.

However, when gaining access to the prison custody was near impossible, they used dynamite on the door leading to the prison yard.

But when the door could not be destroyed becuase of the anti-dynamite used in making it, they used another dynamite to break open a part of the prison wall in order to allow them gain access to the prison.

A security source said there was gun duel for almost three hours before the gunmen could have access to the prison custody through the prison wall. It was through the open wall that the inmates escaped.

The security source told reporters that the armed men came with superior weapons and the policemen who were called for reinforcement had to return to the barracks when they heard the shots from the gunmen.

According to him, the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) drafted to the scene had to make a detour when they realised the armed men came for serious business.

The state Comptroller of Prison, Mr Tunde Olayiwola and the Police Public Relation Officer confirmed the jail break and the number of escapees.

Olayiwola”We had the attack from outside at 12:05am”.

On the number on inmates that escaped, he said, “As at now, we have about 175. We are trying to get them. I cannot precisely say the exact number but the capturing process is on.”

His words “They came with explosives and guns and it is an unusual attack. This is the first time this is happening.

On whether the attack was carried out by suspected Boko Haram members, Olayiwola said “We cannot say exactly the type of attack. Just one cell was attacked”.

“The situation is calm, we had one of our officers who was attacked who is now in the hospital right now and others. No life was lost”.

According to Olayiwola, seven of those that escaped have been arrested while efforts were on to arrest some of the fleeing inmates.

Some top state government top functionaries led by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN visited the prison.

The Police Public Relations officer, Mr Wole Ogodo said that though the information gathered was still sketchy, he noted that the incident has nothing to do with terrorism.

Ogodo who enjoined the people of the state to continue with their lawful duties further assured the citizen of the state that the Police would continue to protect the lives and property of the people of the state.

Ogodo added that top security personnel were working round the clock to ensure that those behind the attack were brought to book.

Meanwhile, situation at the Olokuta Medium prison has been brought under control as a large detachment of security agents including the state commissioner of Police, Patrick Dukumor were on ground for the on-the-spot assessment of the incident.

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