The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola says perpetrators of the jailbreak and escaped inmates of the Medium Security Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Services, in Abolongo, Oyo State will be captured.
He stated this after paying an on-the-spot assessment visit to the facility that was attacked last Friday night by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
Aregbesola who condemned the spate of jail attacks in the country said, “Enough is enough.
There shall not be a repeat of the guards being overwhelmed because it is an anomaly that should never repeat itself, the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot be overwhelmed and the guards would give whatever it takes never to be overwhelmed again.
He urged residents not to offer any form of assistance in terms of material or support to the escapees, warning that doing such is against the law and could attract sanction, but rather report suspicious movements to the nearest security operatives.
The Minister also advised the escapee inmates to return to custody with the assurance that government would not prosecute them for their unlawful escape but for crimes that brought them to the prison in the first place.
He said: “The attack was unconscionable, I commend officers of the Nigeria Correctional Service and other members of sister security agencies who provided perimeter security for our facility for fighting gallantly and holding the fort before the attackers were able to gain access to the awaiting trial section of the facility.
However, those who escaped are already being pursued.
Some have been rearrested, many more will still be captured.
Aregbesola revealed that 446 out of the 907 escapees have been recaptured, whilst 69 never left the facility, assuring Nigerians that the Service has an updated database of the escapees which includes their biometrics which the government would share with all security agencies in the country including the Interpol, so those who escaped the government’s recapture efforts could be nabbed.
On the effort to rebuild the damaged part of the facility, the Minister noted that he had directed the NCoS, to immediately begin remediation work, saying, “I have instructed the CG of NCoS to immediately begin the reconstruction of the damaged parts of the building.
We hope to make the facility better secured and more habitable for the inmates.
Also speaking during the inspection, the Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, Haliru Nababa, stated that so far, the service had successfully prevented internal jailbreaks in all her facilities.
Nababa said: “The NCoS has so far prevented internal jailbreaks in the country.
What we have reoccurring in recent times are external attacks on our facilities.
We have been retraining our officers not just on securing those in lawful custody, but preventing external attacks.
We are collaborating with other security agencies in the country to make such attacks near impossible.
Concerning the instruction given by the Minister of Interior for remediation work to immediately begin on the facility, the CG noted that work had begun already as workers were already on-site fixing damaged doors, broken windows and mounting walls.
Oyo State: Perpetrators of Jailbreak will be captured – Interior Minister