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Jos custodial centre attacker, nine inmates killed, 252 others missing

By Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
30 November 2021   |   4:14 am
The authorities have confirmed death of nine inmates in the ensuing gun duel between security agencies and gunmen that invaded the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Jos on Sunday. Six prisoners sustained major injuries with 252 others currently at large.

•Plateau security meeting ends in stalemate
•Northern elders FG caution against profiling Fulani as terrorists

The authorities have confirmed death of nine inmates in the ensuing gun duel between security agencies and gunmen that invaded the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Jos on Sunday. Six prisoners sustained major injuries with 252 others currently at large.

In a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the correctional centre, Francis Enobore, an officer lost his life during the encounter.

The statement further explained that one of the trapped attackers had been identified among the casualties.

It reads: “The attackers, who stormed the custodial centre at about 1720hrs on Sunday, November 28, 2021 engaged the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) armed squad personnel in a fierce gun battle before breaking into the yard.

“Sadly, one of the NCoS armed squad personnel paid the supreme price in the encounter, while nine inmates also lost their lives. Another staff of the service was shot in the hand and six inmates were also injured in the attack.

“Meanwhile, some of the attackers and a total of 262 inmates escaped in the melee before reinforcement could come from sister services. However, 10 have so far been recaptured, leaving 252 at large.”

The Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, who condoled with the family and friends of the fallen officer, vowed that the perpetrators would be hunted and made to face the full wrath of the law.

He, therefore, called for collaboration from patriotic individuals to apprehend the fleeing inmates, as well as volunteering credible intelligence to forestall future recurrence.

The custodial centre as at the time of the attack had 1,060 inmates – comprising 560 pre-trial detainees – and 500 convicts.

RELATEDLY, the security meeting convened by the Plateau State Government to review the incident, yesterday, ended in a stalemate.

Presided by Deputy Governor Sonni Tyoden in Jos, the parley ended with the participants dashing out of the venue with the sealed lips.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, who was briefed reporters on the outcome, came out ruffled saying: “The briefing had been declined. Sorry for that” without stopping to explain why.

It was gathered that there was a sharp disagreement between the government and security heads, making the meeting a fiasco.

According to the source, they (officials) do not know what to tell journalists.

ALSO yesterday, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) cautioned the Federal Government against profiling all Fulani as terrorists.

The group noted: “There are millions of Fulani who are law-abiding citizens and they should be encouraged to stay, while those who have chosen to continue on the path of criminality should feel the full weight of the law.”

In a statement issued by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in Abuja, the forum said clarification was needed in the face of a recent court judgment labelling bandits and kidnappers as terrorists.

It stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on Nnamdi Kanu would do “serious injury to a country already threatened by multiple challenges.”

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja had ruled that activities of bandits, as well as other similar groups, by whatever names they are called, in any part of the country, amounted to acts of terrorism and subsequently declared them terrorists.