Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Scores of suspected cultists and armed robbers in the early hours of tuesday escaped from the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Bayelsa State Police Command.
The jailbreak also caused apprehension in Yenagoa and its surroundings following a manhunt mounted by the police in the state and fear that the suspects might return to attack those who allegedly gave them away to the security agents.
However, the police said that five of the escapees had been re-arrested in Yenagoa and Agbura areas of the state after Asuquo Amba, the police Commissioner ordered his men to fish them out.
It was learnt that the detainees at the centre led by one of them identified as Touch-Touch cut through the iron protector in the toilet and climbed through the ceiling before jumping into the council headquarters located in the area.
Initial information put the number of escapees, mainly armed robbers and suspected cultists at 42, but the police said those who broke free from detention and escaped were just about 10.
Earlier, a police source attached to the SARS, who was drafted to cordon off the facility, said that they were still taking stock of the number of inmates that had escaped.
THISDAY gathered that at the time of the incident, the cell was holding over 50 suspects, while just a handful was left when the dust settled.
But a night guard at the Yenagoa Local Government Council, who saw a large number of escapees was said to have raised the alarm on noticing them jumping into the council premises from the SARS headquarters.
While two of the fleeing suspects were arrested at the Agbura community where they were hiding; three others were arrested in an open field of a company around the area, it was learnt.
Asinim Butswat, Spokesman of the command, later confirmed the incident but said 10 suspects, not 42 broke jail.
â€œAt about 0200hrs, 7th November 2017, the incident duty officer of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) while on routine cell check discovered that ten suspects escaped through the ceiling of SARS detention facility.
â€œPolicemen immediately cordoned off the SARS detention facility and re-arrested three out of the ten suspects that escaped. The profile of the suspects has been circulated to our intelligence sources and efforts have been intensified to re-arrest the remaining suspects.
â€œThe Command assures members of the public not to panic and to volunteer useful information that may assist the Police in arresting the fleeing suspects.