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Imo jail break: Over 80 fleeing inmates return to correctional centre

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Following the massive escape of prisoners from the Owerri Custodial Centre, over 80 of the fleeing inmates have voluntarily returned.

A source at the Nigerian Correctional Service confirmed the development to The Nation on Wednesday.

He said: “About 17 of them returned on Tuesday and on Wednesday, we saw more than 20 returning back.

“But they are mainly those on awaiting trial, those who have less prison term and those who are about to complete their terms, have returned so far”.

About 42 of the inmates returned as of Monday evening, bringing the total number of returning inmates to 80.

”The problem we are having, and this is not peculiar to the jailbreak here, is that none of the hardened and condemned inmates (HCI) who escaped has returned.

“This is understandable because it will take a miracle for a person who knows that his execution can take place any moment, to return after his freedom was given to him freely by those who broke into the facility,” the source said.

Armed men whom the police alleged were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had attacked the Correctional facility and freed 1,844 inmates on Monday.

This development prompted the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to announce an amnesty for any of the fleeing inmates who return back to prison.

The source further told the publication that most of the returnee inmates were escorted back by their parents, lawyers and relations.

“We are expecting that more will return by the weekend.

“Most of them want to return but they’re afraid that they might be manhandled by some security agents.

“We have very good inmates whose characters we can vouch for. That’s why we need to bring back the parole policy,” the source added.

The public relations officer of Owerri Correctional Service, James Madugba, confirmed more escapees were still returning to the centre, however, could not confirm the number of prisoners that had returned so far.

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