The Nigerian Correctional Service has stated that the number of fleeing inmates who escaped from the Owerri facility but have now either returned or been arrested are 107, as it expects more returns.
The NCS National Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, confirmed this to SaharaReporters on Monday, noting that the service believed that with the release of the fleeing inmates’ photographs and bio-data, more inmates would return.
When asked if a bounty would be placed on over 3,000 fleeing inmates nationwide, he stated that it was not his decision to make but left with the authorities.
Enobore said, “This is the approach we are giving it – we are soliciting the assistance of the public to help us re-arrest these people. Otherwise, they are potential dangers to everybody. I want to tell you that this approach is paying off.
“As of this morning, the figure of returned inmates in Imo has risen to 107. Some voluntarily came back and some were arrested by the security agencies. Earlier, 11 were arrested by the Nigerian Air Force. We have sent a message to them that remaining a fugitive for life does not pay. We have their details with us. The criminals just burnt ordinary papers in our office but their details are on our systems.”
Last Thursday, 85 of the fleeing inmates had returned as confirmed by NCS.
Last Monday, about 1,884 inmates were freed when gunmen struck the Correctional Centre and the Imo State Police Command headquarters in Owerri, respectively.
The attackers who razed no fewer than 50 vehicles had also attacked a military base at Ukwuorji on the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway and burnt a soldier in a car before they fled.
During the attack, one person suspected to be a fleeing inmate was hit by a bullet while carrying his travel bag. His lifeless body was seen on the ground in front of the correctional centre located near the Government House, along Okigwe Road.
The gunmen also razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command’s headquarters.