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Gunmen raze another police station, free inmates hours after jailbreak in Owerri

Imo State appears to be top on the list of troubled states in the country at the moment following a fresh attack on a police station barely a day after the massive attacks on a correctional facility and adjoining police command in Owerri, the state capital.

According to reports a group of armed men invaded another police facility in the state on Tuesday.

The latest attack was carried out on the Divisional Police Headquarters in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area – just about an hour-and-a-half drive from the state capital.

Sources said the gunmen, who came in buses and in a large number, arrived at the police station and freed all the suspects in detention before setting the building ablaze.

Police authorities in the state confirmed the incident although they insisted that the armoury at the station was intact.

“Ehime Mbano (Police) Division has just been attacked, no casualty on the part of the police, no loss of arms, three vehicles burnt,” Orlando Ikeokwu who is the Police Public Relations Officer said.

On Monday, gunmen attacked the Police Command Headquarters in the state where they burnt almost all the vehicles parked there.

The attack, carried out in the early hours of Monday, happened at a time when gunmen also invaded the Owerri Custodial Centre, freeing hundreds of inmates serving various jail terms.

Authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) put the figure of inmates who fled the correctional facility at 1,844.

They, however, noted that six of the fleeing inmates voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 others refused to escape from custody.

The incident was condemned by the Federal Government and the state government, as well as various individuals and groups in the country.

Mr Mohammed Adamu, who was the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) at the time of the attacks, ordered the immediate deployment of additional units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and other police tactical squads to Imo.

He stated that this was important to strengthen security in the state and prevent further attacks on security formations or any other critical national infrastructure in the state.

The former police chief had also directed the Commissioner of Police in Imo and a new Special Investigation Team to carry out holistic investigations into the incident, with a view to arresting and bringing the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.

A day after the incident, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and Adamu visited Imo for an on-the-spot assessment of the attacked facilities.

But the attack on the police station in Ehime Mbano is said to have occurred barely three hours after the vice president, the minister, and the former police chief left the state.

The attack, carried out in the early hours of Monday, happened at a time when gunmen also invaded the Owerri Custodial Centre, freeing hundreds of inmates serving various jail terms.

Authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) put the figure of inmates who fled the correctional facility at 1,844.

They, however, noted that six of the fleeing inmates voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 others refused to escape from custody.

The incident was condemned by the Federal Government and the state government, as well as various individuals and groups in the country.

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