By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Following the October 30, 2020 expiration date handed down to inmates, who escaped from the Oko and Sapele Road Correctional Centres to return by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, 24 of the escapees have reportedly showed up at the weekend.
They were said to have been escorted to the Correctional Centres by their parents, relations and lawyers.
Youths armed with rifles and other dangerous weapons had attacked the two correctional facilities in Benin and freed 1,900 inmates during the recent #EndSARS protest that rocked the country.
Shortly after the jailbreak, Governor Obaseki accompanied by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo; Deputy Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 5, Mr. Celestine Okoye; and the Controller of Correction Centre in Edo, Babayo Maisanda, paid an assessment visit to the prisons, when the governor gave the two-week ultimatum.
It was learnt that some of the inmates responded and voluntarily returned to the prison which prompted the governor to further extend the ultimatum by one week.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, “The extension of the ultimatum is as a result of the positive response from the prisoners, as a good number of them have since returned to the two correctional facilities. The new window is to allow more prisoners to return to the centres willingly.”
Against this backdrop therefore, a source close to the correctional facilities, disclosed that as at Friday, 30th October, 2020, the Oko Correctional Centre had received 24 of the inmates who were escorted back by their parents, lawyers and relations.
The source said: “We are expecting that more will return. Those we have received so far are inmates who have few months of their jail terms, while the hardened and condemned inmates are yet to return. Majority of those out there are on awaiting trial.”