Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) has disclosed that only 84 inmates are in its custody after the invasion and setting free of prisoners at the Owerri Custodial Centre, Imo State, by criminals.
It said of the people set free by the attackers, 48 of them were picked up in some parts of the state with 36 resisting the temptation to flee when the facility was invaded.
A statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Francis Enobore, said peace has gradually returned to the Owerri Custodial Centre following the recent invasion of the facility by gunmen.
Enobore said: “As at 3:50 p.m. on April 7, 2021, the centre had picked up a total of 48 inmates who escaped in the wake of the invasion thus increasing the number of inmates presently in the custody to 84, including those who resisted the temptation to escape during the attack.
“Among the escapees, 11 were recaptured by men of the 211 Nigerian Air force Base in Owerri while others either came back on their own volition or were returned by their relations, traditional rulers and religious leaders.
He said acting on the directives of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the acting Controller-General of NCC, John Mrabure, has charged all of members of staff of the Command to go after the fleeing inmates and smoke them out of their hiding place at all cost.
Enabore said Mrabure read the Riot Act during the interactive session with personnel attached to the Custodial Centre, including those at the state headquarters.
He said his boss further asked the staff to brace up to frontally resist the emerging security challenges confronting the country and by extension, the Nigerian Correctional Service.
The CG, however, appealed for more support in this regard in order to keep the dangerous offenders out of circulation, and make the society safe and secure for everyone.