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119 inmates escape as rainstorm destroys custodial centre in Niger, 10 recaptured



The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) FCT Command, on Thursday said 119 inmates escaped from the Suleja Custodial Centre, in Niger State.

This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Thursday by Mr Samson Duza, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command.

The FCT command is in charge of Kuje and Suleja Medium Security Custodial Centres in Abuja and Niger.

Duza explained that the incident followed a rainstorm that destroyed the Suleja facility on Wednesday night.

He said the service had immediately activated its recapturing mechanisms, in conjunction with sister security agencies.

According to him, the downpour has also wreaked havoc on the surrounding buildings and part of the custodial facility, including its perimeter fence.

”This gave way to the escape of a total of 119 inmates of the facility.

”But with the help of sister agencies, we have recaptured 10 of them and taken them into custody, while we are in hot chase to recapture the others.”

Duza stated that the Service was mindful that many of its facilities were built during the colonial era, and had become old and weak.

He said in view of this, the service was making frantic efforts to see that all ageing facilities gave way for modern ones.

”This is evidenced in the ongoing construction of six 3,000-capacity ultra-modern custodial centres in all the geo-political zones in Nigeria.

‘‘This also includes the ongoing reconstruction and renovation of existing ones,” he said.

The FCT spokesman assured the public that the command was on top of the situation, and urged residents to go about their businesses without fear or hindrance.

He also enjoined the public to look out for the fleeing inmates and report any suspicious movement to the nearest security agency.

Ibironke Ariyo

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