Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) has not apprehended the 97 inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Koton Karfe, in Kogi State, who escaped on Monday from the facility as a result of the heavy down pour and flooding.
Although no life was lost in the Koton Karfe flood disaster, 25 of the escapees have been recaptured while 97 are still at large.
At the time of the incident, the facility had 227 inmates out of which 122 seized the opportunity of the unfortunate incident to escape, while 105 of them stayed back.
Those captured have been relocated to a safer place as directed by the Controller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed.
A statement signed by Controller of Corrections, Francis Osagiede Enobore, for Controller-General of Corrections, said: “As a result of the heavy down pour and flooding of Koton Karfe and its environs, the inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Koton Karfe, including those so far recaptured have been successfully evacuated to safer locations and no life was lost in the incident.
“The Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, gave the evacuation order when he visited the centre for on the spot assessment.
“At the time of the incident, the facility had a total of 227 inmates. While 122 used the opportunity to escape, 105 of them stayed back. However, 25 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 97 still at large.”
According to the statement, the Correctional Service appreciated efforts of the government and good people of Kogi State, including officers and men of the Army, Navy, Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and local vigilantees in the community in assisting personnel of the Correctional Service to carry out search and rescue operation.
While assuring the safety of inmates in other facilities in the state and, indeed, other parts of the country, the Controller-General appealed to members of the public to provide useful intelligence that will facilitate swift recapture of the fleeing inmates.
Torrential down pour last Monday caused a surging flood that over ran the centre at about 0200hrs pulling down a section of the perimeter fence. The inmates’ cells and offices were also submerged forcing some of the inmates to break out of custody for safety.