Twenty-nine suspected criminals have reportedly escaped from the custody of the Central Police Station (CPS) in Umuahia North Local Government Area, the Abia State capital.
The suspects were said to have fled from the CPS on Saturday night.
However, gathered 20 of the suspects have been rearrested while nine are on the run.
Sources said the suspects pretended to have been pressed, asking to use the restrooms.
They were said to have briefed the cell guard to assist them, not knowing they had a sinister motive.
According to information, the cell guard innocently opened the cell to hand water to the suspects.
As the guard opened the cell door, the suspects, who were said to have pushed it against him, overpowered the guard and fled.
Investigations revealed the cell of CPS, Umuahia, like most police stations in the state, is overstretched as correctional centres have been reluctant to accept suspects over COVID-19 scare.
The situation is said to have forced courts to order remand of some of the suspects in police custody.
When contacted, the Command Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna confirmed the incident.
He called on members of the public to be on the lookout for the fleeing suspects and report to the nearest police station.
Geoffrey promised all the fleeing suspects would be rearrested and prosecuted.