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Aregbesola believes gunmen attack prison facilities to ridicule FG

Aregbesola says the fleeing inmates have no where to hide.

Rauf Aregbesola [NCS]

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola believes gunmen are attacking correctional facilities in the country to ridicule the Federal Government.

The minister said this on Sunday, October 24, 2021, during his inspection visit to the Abolongo Custodial Centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service, that was recently attacked in Oyo state.

He said since the #EndSARS protests of last year, there have been jail breaks and attacks on prison facilities in four states.

External attacks on custodial facilities were a rarity hitherto. What was common, and for which our system had been well primed, was an internal breach. But beginning with the spontaneous #EndSARS protests of last year which dovetailed into massive riots, there have been consistent attacks on our facilities in Owerri, Benin, Kabba, and now Oyo,” he said.

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“This is not just some random happenings. These are premeditated, planned and coordinated attacks meant to make Nigeria unsafe and ridicule the government.

Recall that hundreds of inmates escaped from the Oyo correctional centre on Friday following gunmen's attack on the facility.

After the attack, Nigeria Correctional Service, Oyo State Command said, 837 awaiting trial inmates escaped from the centre during the attack, while 262 escapees are reported to have been recaptured.

But according to Aregbesola, 446 out of 907 escapees have been recaptured, whilst 69 never left the facility.

Speaking on the attack, the minister said the “Federal Government will pursue not just those who attacked our facility, but those who have escaped lawful custody.”

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“The attack was unconscionable, 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, however, those who escaped are already being pursued. Some have been rearrested, many more will still be captured.”

On the fleeing inmates, Aregbesola said they have no where to hide.

“You can run, but you can’t hide. We’ll fish you out! We are publishing details of those we escaped in the mass media so the public can assist in that effort,” he said.

He said the service has an updated database of the escapees including their biometrics.

The minister added that the database would be shared with all security agencies in the country including Interpol to recapture the inmates on the run.

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