No fewer than 2,000 inmates escaped on Monday morning in Owerri, the Imo State capital when yet-to-be-identified gunmen invaded the headquarters of the Imo State Police Command and the Owerri Correctional Centre.
The hoodlums also released another 600 suspects in custody at the police headquarters. This is even as they razed down the two facilities including numerous vehicles at the premises.
Only the Anti-kidnapping department of the state CID was spared by the attackers.
Already an uneasy calm has enveloped Owerri, the state capital as residents were on radio stations expressing concerns about the security of lives and properties in the state.
A source told our reporter that the gunmen operated in about 10 vehicles and also attacked soldiers at Umuorji on Owerri-Onitsha expressway.
The source added that the attackers burnt the operational vehicles of the soldiers, while the military men fled.
The dawn attack was carried out at about 1am and lasted for more three hours.
A security source said that the gunmen sang solidarity songs at the Government House roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the two facilities.
The source added that the attackers gained entry in the police headquarters with the aid of explosives and dynamite, telling the inmates: “Go home, Jesus has risen. You have no reason to be here.”
At the correctional centre, operatives sustained injuries while scampering to safety.
When contacted, spokesperson for the correctional centre, James Madugba, said they were yet to address the press on the development.
On his part, Police PRO, Orlando Ikeokwu, also confirmed the attack, saying there was no casualty recorded.
According to him, only the State CID section of the Police command was attacked by the gunmen and suspects released.
Already major streets around the areas have been condoned off by security operatives.