More than 1,400 inmates who escaped from the Owerri Custodial Centre in Imo State and the Kuje Medium Custodial Centre in Abuja are still on the run, two years after the jailbreaks.
As of the latest update, 864 inmates who fled the Owerri Custodial Centre on April 5, 2021, remain unaccounted for. Despite ongoing efforts, their profiles and recapture status are not readily available on the Ministry of Interior’s website.
Similarly, over 500 inmates are yet to be recaptured following the attack on the Kuje Custodial Centre, which occurred a year and five months ago. These escapees’ names, images, and identification numbers are visible on the Nigerian Correctional Service’s website, with 543 still at large and 30 recaptured.
The jailbreak at the Owerri Custodial Centre in 2021 saw 1,844 inmates forcefully released by gunmen, including 64 high-profile Boko Haram terrorists. Following a manhunt, security forces managed to recapture 421, while the data of others were uploaded to the International Criminal Police Organisation’s database.
Umar Abubakar, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service, assured the public that measures, including the use of technological gadgets, are in place to track down the remaining escapees. He emphasized that the service has implemented overt and covert strategies to ensure the recapture of those still at large.
Security expert Kabir Adamu, CEO of Beacon Consulting Limited, expressed concern that the purpose of using custodial centers as a deterrent is losing its effectiveness. The incidents highlight the need for enhanced security measures within correctional facilities to prevent future jailbreaks.
This news underscores the challenges law enforcement faces in maintaining secure custodial facilities and the ongoing efforts to bring escaped criminals to justice.