Aregbesola promises to recapture fleeing prisoners

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The Federal Government has vowed to pursue and recapture all inmates who escaped from the Abolongo Custodial Centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service, in Oyo State on Friday night when the facility came under attack of gunmen.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the assurance Sunday while inspecting the facility in Oyo.

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“I’m assuring Nigerians that the Federal Government will pursue not just those who attacked our facility, but those who have escaped lawful custody.

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“I commend officers of the Nigeria Correctional 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.

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“However, those who escaped are already being pursued. Some have been rearrested, many more will still be captured,” the Minister stated.

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Aregbesola noted that 446 out of 907 escapees have been recaptured, whilst 69 never left the facility.

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“As at the last count, 446 of the escapees have been recaptured, leaving 392 still at large.

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“We want to assure Nigerians that the service have an updated database of the escapees which includes their biometrics.

“We are sharing the database with all security agencies in the country, including the Interpol, so those who escaped our recapture 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,” the Minister reiterated.

The minister said he had directed the NCoS to immediately begin remediation work.

“I have instructed the CG 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 speaking during the inspection, the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, Haliru Nababa, said the service had successfully prevented internal jailbreaks in all its facilities.

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Haliru Nababa said, “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 prevent external attacks.

“We are collaborating with other security agencies in the country to make such attacks near impossible and where they do occur, the attackers will not live to regret it.”

CG Nababa said that the repair work had begun already.

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