The Nigerian Detention Service (NSC), Oyo State Command said, 837 awaiting trial detainees escaped from the Abolongo correctional institution.
It was recalled that several unidentified gunmen assaulted Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town on Friday about 10:30 p.m., blowing their way in with dynamite.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan, the Public Relations Officer, Olanrewaju Anjorin, said the attackers freed all 837 awaiting trial inmates, pointing out that the cell housing the convicts and inmates was not vandalized.
He did say, though, that 262 fugitive inmates had been apprehended, while 575 remained on the loose.
The intruders arrived to the center fully armed with sophisticated weaponry, and after a fierce battle with the on-duty officers, they gained entry into the yard by blasting the wall with explosives.
“All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.
“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured leaving 575 still at large.
“Following the directives of the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident,” Anjorin said.
He said the state controller had assured the public that no effort would be spared to recapture the fleeing inmates.
According to him, the controller-general has solicited for credible intelligence to assist the security agencies in tracking down the fleeing inmates.
He said that the Oyo Custodial Centre was established in 2007 with a capacity of 160 inmates, but had a total population of 907 at the time of the attack.
“Of this number, awaiting trial persons were 837 representing 92 per cent with just 64 convicts,” Anjorin said.