Jailbreaks: 3,906 inmates still on the run – Minister

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By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
The Minister of Interior Mr Rauf Aregbesola said Thursday that out of the 4,369 inmates that have escaped from correctional centres due to attacks on the facilities, only 984 have been recaptured.

Speaking at a briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the minister said 3,906 inmates are still on the run.

The minister said it will be difficult for the inmates that have escaped to run away from the long arm of the law, stressing that the biometrics of all inmates in the country have been captured.“How long can they continue to run from the state? The state is a patient bird. You can run but you can never hide. We have their biometrics.

Whenever and wherever they appear to transact any business, their cover will be blown.“I will like to inform Nigerians that we have captured the biometric information of all inmates in the facilities of NCoS working in partnership with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

“Therefore, we have the capacity and are tracking all escapees from our facilities. In addition, we are working with and have shared the details of escapees with INTERPOL to check the risks of cross border movements,” he said.

On reformation and rehabilitation of the inmates, the minister said there are 465 inmates running different degree programmes at the National Open University of Nigeria.

“There are various ongoing reformation and education programmes for inmates in our custodial facilities. The Service, in partnership with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has increased the number of Study Centers to 10 across Correctional formations (Abeokuta, Anambra, Enugu, Kaduna, Keffi, Kuje, Lafia, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Umuahia).“There are currently about 465 inmates running various Degree programmes, 85 of the inmates are running Post – Graduate Degree programs, while four are running PhD programmes within the custodial facilities.

“A total of 560 inmates have been enrolled for WAEC/NECO Examinations, and 2,300 for Adult Literacy Classes in several Custodial Centers. Additional Borstal Training Institutions for young offenders, male and female, are to be established in each State of the Federation,” he said.