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  • Federal Government under attack over 3,906 fleeing inmates from Nigerian prisons

The Federal Government yesterday, said, it was after about 3,906 inmates, who escaped from Correctional Services in different parts of the country.

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Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aragbesola, who disclosed this when he appeared on a media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, vowed that the security agencies would recapture the escaped inmates, saying they could only run and not hide.

He also debunked the allegation that there was Boko Haram cell in Lagos State.

But some Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, blamed the frequent jail-breaks across the federation on the government, asking it to consider other punitive measures that would ensure a reduction in the population of prisoners in the country.


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The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and African Bar Association, AfBA, also blamed the frequent jailbreaks in the country on the congestion of correctional centers across Nigeria. However, fielding questions from State House correspondents, the minister said a total of 4,860 inmates escaped from correctional centers from 2020 till date.

Of this figure, the minister said, 954 had been recaptured, adding that the government had captured biometric details of all inmates working with INTERPOL. He explained that the biometrics would enable the escapees to be tracked and rearrested.

On the cause of the attacks, Aregbesola said: “My answer is this, the security situation of every space, community or society or nation reflects on all aspects of that society. “So, whatever we are witnessing is a fallout of challenges we are having nationally. As for specific causes, it’s not specific. It’s a little bit varied and diverse. Yes, attacks could be for specific causes in the centers or simply to harass the government.

“Whatever is the cause, our duty is to make the other facilities impregnable to enforce the will of the state on those who are legally kept there. And we are committed to ensuring that. It’s not just only to ensure the will of the state, it’s to prevent the danger to society should they be out before their time.

“That said, I can’t say some things because of confidentiality. What’s clear is this, the state will never allow anyone to trample on its authority as an enforcing organ. Whoever attacks our facility has violated a major code of the state and wherever they run to around the world, we will get them. “Regarding Pablo Escobar who tried to escape justice, he was eventually brought to justice. All the criminals who think they can test our will ultimately face justice.”

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On the number of escaped inmates, he said, “We have the total escaped inmates as 4,860, recaptured 954, 3906 still at large. That is the fact for now. The breakdown is here but that’s just the summary.

“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.

“I will like to inform Nigerians that we have captured the biometric information of all inmates in the facilities of NcoS, working in partnership with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission, NIMC.

“Therefore, we have the capacity and are tracking all escapees from our facilities. In addition, we are working with and have shared the details of escapees with INTERPOL, to check the risks of cross-border movements.”

Asked whether any arrests had been made in connection with the attacks on the facilities, the minister said: “We are on the attackers. A couple of them were arrested in Imo. But I can tell you we are on them and they know we are on them. They can run but they cannot hide.”

He also said 465 inmates were running various degree programmes around the country, adding that 85 of these were running postgraduate programmes, including four doing Ph.D. programmes. He said 560 inmates had been enrolled for WAEC/NECO examinations while 2,300 were enrolled for adult literacy classes in several custodial centers.

The minister assured that the problem associated with procuring international passports will soon be over, announcing that a total of 2,742,207 passports had been issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, in the last two years.

Hammed Zubair

posted 2021-11-12 07:58:48

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