FG launches manhunt for fleeing 109 Suleja inmates, recaptures 10

Federal Government has launched a widespread manhunt for 109 fleeing inmates who escaped from the Suleja medium security custodial centre on Wednesday night following torrential rainfall that destroyed some parts of the facility.

The FG assured that all security agencies have been alerted to apprehend the fleeing inmates and ensure their immediate return to the facility.

119 inmates reportedly escaped from the facility but 10 of them were immediately apprehended.

Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who visited the Suleja Centre following the incident to assess the extent of damage and obtain further information, said government was considering relocation of the Custodial centre.

Tunji-Ojo said runaway inmates have ample time to return on their own to the facility as all their biometric information would be released to the public as soon as possible.

The Minister lamented that there were some gaps in reporting line at the custodial centre, saying the situation could have been avoided if the right information had been passed to the appropriate channel on time.

He added, “There was a breach on the outer wall of this facility and some of the inmates escaped.

“We were able to recapture 10 out of the 119 that escaped so now 109 are on the run. We have ordered a manhunt. The security agencies are presently going after them and we will do everything humanly possible to make sure that everyone is brought back here.”

He disclosed that the Federal Government would look further into the remote and immediate cause of the collapsed perimeter fence resulting in the escape of the inmates.

He said, “We must make sure that this does not happen again. This could have been avoided if the right information at the appropriate time had been disseminated with regards to the structure and others

“But we will get them back, we will secure our correctional facilities and make sure that this doesn’t happen again in Nigeria.

“Obviously the walls are already old and weak, and there are certain responsibilities we must take but we’ll do everything possible to prevent this happening in other facilities.”

The Minister said President Bola Tinubu had shown concerns about the urbanization reaching into the domains of custodial centres and expressed the need to relocate some of them outside the city centres for better security.

He added, “There are a lot of things that I will not be able to say on camera with regards to the correctional centres, the reporting lines and other issues but we will handle those things behind the scene.

“We are not here to make excuses, but to take responsibility because we were elected to do the job and that job will be done.

“This is a facility built to hold 250 inmates. Before the incident we had 499 inmates here. This gives credence to our concern regarding overcrowding in our correctional centres,”

Tunji-Ojo described the escape of the inmates as a national emergency and a sober moment, noting that “things like this can lead to set backs so I sincerely think we must all focus our energy to solve this problem as soon as we can.”

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