When police took in 42 suspected armed robbers and cultists in Bayelsa State, they thought they had made a kill, but all that changed in the twinkle of an eye.

A cell that holds more than 50 suspects in the capital city, Yenagoa, was met empty on Tuesday morning. The suspects had destroyed the wall and disappeared. 

The suspects were being detained by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) but they broke free from the detention facility on Tuesday.

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A Policeman attached to the SARS cell, who was drafted to cordon off the facility, said they were still taking stock of the number of inmates that had escaped.

"The cell holds more than 50 suspects but it is empty, so it is difficult to give an accurate number until they check the records, but we hear that 42 criminals were being detained," the policeman said.

The News Agency of Nigeria said the suspects broke through the back section of the cell and scaled into the Yenagoa Local Government premises.

A police source said one of the escapee suspects had been re-arrested while the search for others had begun.

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The spokesman for the Police Command in the State, Asinin Butswat, said the incident was being investigated but that the details were sketchy.

He promised to provide further details as soon as they are available.

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