The Nigeria Correctional Service, Oyo State Command, has confirmed that 837 awaiting trial inmates escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo Town.
According to the spokesperson for the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Olanrewaju Anjorin, suspected gunmen invaded the facility on Friday at about 9.30 p.m after they used dynamite to blast the wall.
He explained that the gunmen arrived in Abolongo in large numbers and used explosives to gain access into the prison.
Anjorin also confirmed that several suspected criminals awaiting trial were freed by the gunmen during the attack.
According to him, NCoS authorities in the state swiftly mobilised support from other security agencies to trail the attackers and inmates, who are currently on the run.
He said that a total of 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, while 575 were still at large.
“The invaders arrived the centre heavily armed with sophisticated weapons and after a fierce encounter with the officers on guard, they gained entrance into the yard, using dynamite to blast the wall.
“All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.
Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.
“Following the directives of the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident,” Anjorin said.
He said the state controller had assured the public that no effort would be spared to recapture the fleeing inmates.
According to him, the controller-general has solicited for credible intelligence to assist the security agencies in tracking down the fleeing inmates.
He said that the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates, but had a total population of 907 at the time of attack.