Officials appealed to the public to provide information that will help apprehend the escapees.
Armed men entered a prison in southern Nigeria and released 240 prisoners – almost every one in the prison.
The attackers began firing guns with security guards over the weekend at Kababa Central Central Prison in Kogi State, southwest of Abuja state, a Correctional Service spokesman said.
“A security checkpoint in Kabba, Kogi state, has been attacked by undisclosed gunmen and 240 prisoners have been released,” said spokesman Francis Enobore.
He did not elaborate on the details of any deaths.
Haliru Nababa, Nigeria’s chief of staff, launched an investigation into the plot and ordered the arrest of all prisoners.
“He called on all members of the public to provide practical assistance in rescuing refugees from security forces,” the spokesman said.
294 prisoners were in prison at the time – 224 prisoners arrested before trial and 70 tortured, the prison said. The prison was established in 2008 with 200 inmates.
The suspects could spend years in jail before a trial in Nigeria. Human rights groups say prisons are often overcrowded and legal systems do not work.