The Imo State Police Command has confirmed the attack on its headquarters and the Owerri Correctional Prison in the early hours of Monday, April 5, 2021.
A correctional facility and police investigations department in Owerri in Imo State Capital were reportedly set on fire by unidentified attackers in an overnight operation.
Truetalknews gathered that reports on social media by witnesses said the attackers struck the prison and police department shortly after midnight, freeing a yet-unconfirmed number of inmates and suspects.
Heavy gunfire also rang through the area which is close to the Imo State Government House.
It was gathered that senior government officials have been reportedly asked to shelter-in-place.
Amnesty International said over the weekend that Owerri Correctional Centre had 2,156 inmates as against its installed capacity of 548 people.
When contacted by Peoples Gazette, the Imo police spokesman Godson Orlando said he was unaware of the violence, hours after reports had spread across social media with residents across different sections of Owerri reporting hearing heavy gunshots and explosions.
“I am just hearing it from you now,” Mr Orlando, a police superintendent, said during a telephone call at 4:48 a.m. “I will have to wait until later today to find out what happened.”
A spokesman for the correctional headquarters in Abuja did not immediately return a request seeking comments.
In the early hours of today, unknown Gunmen attacked and burnt down Police Command Headquarters, Owerri and the Owerri Prisons both facilities surrounded by Imo Government House.
Also, the gunmen were said to have sung solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities.
Confirming the attacks, the state police spokesperson, Orlando Ikeokwu, said the hoodlums attacked both the prison facility and the state police command headquarters.
He, however, assured the people of the state that the security agencies were on top of the matter.
Meanwhile, the Kano State Police Command has arrested a suspected kidnapper, Abubakar Burumburum, 27, who was found in possession of two AK-47 rifles by operatives of Operation Puff Adder in the state.
The command Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the arrest of the suspect to journalists in Kano on Sunday.
He explained that the suspect, who was apprehended following a tip-off, was currently undergoing interrogation.
Haruna stated that the suspect, popularly known as Likita in the Birnin Gwari area, mostly carried out his activities in Kaduna, Kano and other parts of the northern states.
While answering questions, Burumburum, a father of six from the Tudun Wada Local Government Area of Kano State, confessed to being a cattle rustler, who engaged in kidnapping twice.
According to him, the two AK-47 rifles and ammunition were obtained from the children of one late Muhammadu Bakanoma in Zamfara State.
Haruna said Burumburum would soon be charged after the completion of investigation.