Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, has said that the fugitives who escaped from the custodial centre in Owerri, Imo state capital, will be pardoned if they return voluntarily; giving the assurance while inspecting the centre on Tuesday following an attack on the facility.
He said the federal government will leave no stone unturned to fish out perpetrators of what he described as a “dastardly act”, stating that all those involved would be brought to book.
“Unlawful escape from custody is a crime but government in its magnanimity will grant amnesty to prisoners who willfully return. They will no longer be charged with unlawful escape but only for the initial crimes that took them to prison. So we urge all escapees to return before they are caught on the run.”
Seye Oduntan, the Deputy Controller of Correctional Service in charge of Owerri Custodial Centre, informed that 36 inmates stayed back after the attack while six persons had so far returned.
However, proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) dismissed the claims laid against them; the police accused them of being responsible for the prison break and the attack on a police command headquarters in the state, IPOB in turn say claims are false.