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Over 4,300 inmates escape from Nigerian centers within 2yrs

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Federal Government has disclosed that no fewer than 3,906 inmates who escaped from custodial centers following series of jail breaks across Nigeria were still at large and that efforts were being intensified to re-arrest and return them back to prisons to complete their jail terms.

The apex government explained that though a total of 4,369 inmates escaped from the centres from 2020 till November 2021, no fewer than 984 of the number had so far been recaptured and returned back to appropriate prisons across the nation.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing, hosted by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said that the biometrics of all custodial inmates in the country had been taken, and that the measures would help in seamless recapturing of the fleeing inmates.

He said: “How long can they continue to run from the state? The state is a patient bird. You can run but you can never hide. We have their biometrics. Whenever and wherever they appear to transact any business, their cover will be blown.”

Aregbesola, who was Osun State ex-governor noted that the recent attacks on some correctional facilities in the country are a reflection of the insecurity in Nigeria and that measures were been put in place to prevent future occurrence.

He explained that the government was on the trail of the prisons attackers and that some of them have been arrested in Imo State, while assuring Nigerians that a ministerial task force would soon be inaugurated to enforce the re-arrest of all escapees and their collaborators.

Aside from the fleeing inmates, the minister noted that 465 inmates are running various degrees programmes around the country,
adding that 85 of this are running postgraduate programmes, including four who are doing Ph.D programmes.

He said that 560 inmates have been enrolled for WAEC/NECO examinations while 2,300 are enrolled for adult literacy classes in several custodial centres.

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