OKIGWE, NIGERIA – In a brazen attack, gunmen stormed the Okigwe Correctional Farm Settlement in Imo state, Nigeria, on Monday morning, February 12th, 2024. The attack resulted in the death of a police officer, the release of seven inmates, and the abduction of the correctional officer in charge of the facility.
According to police reports, the gunmen also targeted the residence of Senator Patrick Ndubeze in the early hours of Monday. While details about the incident at the senator’s residence remain unclear, the attack on the prison sent shockwaves through the local community.
Commissioner of Police Danjuma Aboki confirmed the details of the prison attack, stating that the gunmen killed a police officer stationed at the facility and then proceeded to free seven inmates. They also abducted the officer in charge of the farm settlement before fleeing the scene.
Responding swiftly to the attack, Commissioner Aboki vowed to apprehend the perpetrators and secure the release of the abducted officer. He ordered the immediate deployment of the Command’s Special Tactical Squad to track down the suspected attackers, believed to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Police spokesperson Henry Okoye released a statement blaming IPOB/ESN for the attacks, stating that they “resulted in the release of seven (7) inmates, and abduction of the officer in charge of the farm settlement, and the death of a Police Inspector respectively.
statement further noted that the Commissioner of Police has tasked the special tactical squad with ensuring the safe return of the abducted officer and apprehending the escaped inmates. The search for the suspects and efforts to secure the abducted officer’s release are ongoing.
This attack highlights the ongoing security challenges faced by Imo state and underscores the need for continued vigilance and proactive measures to ensure the safety of both residents and correctional facilities.