The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has promised to recapture all inmates who escaped from the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) Custodial Centre, Abolongo, Oyo State.
A statement by the Media Adviser to the Minister, Mr Sola Fasure, stated that Aregbesola made the promise while on an inspection visit to the facility on Sunday in Oyo.
The minister assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would pursue not just those who attacked the facility, but those who escaped lawful custody.
“The attack was unconscionable. I commend officers of the 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 re-arrested, many more will still be captured,” the minister added.
Aregbesola, however, noted that 446 out of 907 escapees had already been re-captured, while 69 remained in the facility.
“As at the last count, 446 of the escapees have been re-captured, leaving 392 still at large.
“We want to assure Nigerians that the service has an updated database of the escapees which include their biometrics.
“We are sharing the database with all security agencies in the country, including the Interpol, so those who escaped our re-capture efforts can be nabbed.
“To those on the run, be assured you have nowhere to hide. You can run, but you can’t hide. We’ll fish you out.
“We are publishing details of those who escaped in the mass media so the public can assist in that effort,” he stressed.
On the effort to rebuild the damaged portions of the facility, the minister said that he had directed the NCoS to immediately commence remediation work.
“I have instructed the C-G 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, the Controller-General of NCoS, Haliru Nababa, noted that so far, the service had successfully prevented internal jailbreaks in all its facilities.
“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 are near impossible and where they do occur, the attackers will not live to regret it,” he stated.
On the instruction given by the minister to immediately commence remediation work on the facility, Nababa said that work had begun in earnest already.
“As you can see, workers are already on site fixing damaged doors, broken windows and mounting walls. Before the end of today, work would have been completed on it,” Nababa added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a large number of heavily armed gunmen attacked the Abolongo Custodial Centre at about 10 p.m. on Saturday, in which several inmates escaped.