By Yemi Akintomide
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, has pledged to hunt and recapture all detainees who escaped from the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) Custodial Centre in Abolongo, Oyo, Oyo State, on Friday night when the facility was attacked by gunmen.
On Sunday morning in Oyo, Oyo State, the Minister offered the assurance during an inspection visit to the facility.
In a statement issued at the end of the Minister’s visit to correctional centre and signed by
Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Aregbesola assured that “the Federal Government would pursue not just those who attacked our facilities, but also those who have eluded lawful detention.”
“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,” the Minister stated.
More information on those that escaped was provided by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who stated that 446 of the 907 escapees were apprehended, while 69 never left the facility.
“At latest count, 446 of the escapees had been apprehended, leaving 392 on the loose.” We want to reassure Nigerians that the service maintains an up-to-date database of escapees, which includes biometric data. We’re sharing the database with all of the country’s security services, including Interpol, so that anyone who eluded our recapture efforts can be apprehended.
“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.
On the effort to rebuild the damaged part of the facility, the Minister noted that he has 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.
During the inspection, the Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, Haliru Nababa, said that the service has so far succeeded in preventing internal jailbreaks in all of its facilities.
“So far, the NCoS has kept the country safe from internal jailbreaks.” External attacks against our infrastructure have been more common in recent years. Our cops have been retrained not just in securing people in legitimate custody, but also in preventing external threats.
“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,” the CG stated.
On the instruction given by the Minister of Interior to immediately begin remediation work on the facility, CG Nababa noted that work has begun already.
“As you can see, workers are already on site fixing damaged doors, broken windows and mounting walls. Before the end of today, work would have been completed on it,” Nababa stated.
The Minister’s entourage paid a courtesy visit to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, before departing Oyo, and commiserated with him over the FG facility attack in his town.
“We have come to express our condolences to your Majesty for the attack that occurred in your town less than 72 hours ago. Oyo is recognized as a tranquil town, and with the precautions we’re implementing, you can rest confident that nothing like this will happen again,” Ogbeni Aregbesola informed the monarch.