By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Federal Government on Tuesday vowed to hunt down all 1,844 inmates who escaped during the Owerri Prison break, saying they cannot escape justice.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola made the vow when he visited the attacked Owerri Custodial Centre.
Gunmen had invaded the prison on Monday and set 1,844 inmates free.
Aregbesola emphasized the grim resolve of the Federal Government to go after the perpetrators and bring the full weight of the law on them.
He noted that during the #ENDSARS riots, late last year, there were coordinated attacks on custodial centres in Edo State, while an unsuccessful attempt was made in Lagos. ‘Thus, a pattern of syndicated attacks on custodial centres is emerging.’
“We will react appropriately by going after these criminals and making them face the full wrath of the law. We will leave no stone unturned in fishing them out. Make no mistake; they will be hunted to the end of the earth. They can only run, but they cannot hide. We shall bring them to justice, or in the alternative, take justice to them,” the Minister said.
He added that additional security would be provided for all custodial centres from now on, for the safety of personnel and inmates as well as the security of the facilities.
“Full investigation will also commence immediately,” he confirms.
Aregbesola urged all escaped inmates to voluntarily return to custody and that those who heed this call would be given amnesty on the possible consequences of escaping from lawful custody.
While advising all correctional officers to be vigilant and take the security of the facilities and the inmates seriously more than ever before; he also assured them of the Federal Government’s determination to ensure their safety at all times.
“We are at war with an enemy that you may not yet know but knows you inside out,” Aregbesola reiterated.
The Minister called on citizens with useful information on the perpetrators of these dastardly acts and the 1,844 inmates that escaped from lawful custody to inform the law enforcement agency nearest to them as an act of patriotism.