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Aregbesola: We’ll recapture escaped prison inmates when they open bank accounts or register phone numbers

Escapee inmates of various custodial centres will be re-arrested and returned to custody, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has assured.

Speaking on Sunday in an interview in Abuja, Mr Aregbesola said that, “They can only run, they cannot hide; they are like trapped mouse, we will get them.”

He added that, “They will open bank accounts; they will have telephone numbers; they are just deceiving themselves; they will be caught.

“They are like trapped mouse. Where is a trapped mouse going? If you release the rope used to trap the mouse, you are just entertaining yourself, later you’d retrieve the rope and bring the mouse home. They are trapped as far as I am concerned,” he stressed.

Conceding that the recapture was slow, the minister, however, said “government is the most difficult institution to offend,” and was not giving up until the escapees were caught.

“Government is a patient institution; we have done what we should do; there is nobody today in our custodial facility without all the biometrics registered; none.

“All inmates, either as awaiting-trial persons or as convicts in our custodial facilities are registered in our database or have their biometrics in the database.

“To the extent that that is done, unless that person does not exist as a human being, it is a question of time before we get them; that is the assurance I want to give Nigerians,” he said.

The minister stressed that the ministry of interior was collaborating with relevant security agencies and other ministries to ensure the arrest of the fugitives.

“We have circulated the biometrics of the fugitives to every relevant organisation that could help us use the data to apprehend them and we are not relenting.

“I am meeting with the Minister of Finance on some things to do with that because we need to work directly with that ministry and some of its agencies.

“I am also meeting with the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy since some of its agencies are well-positioned to accelerate the process of re-arrest.

“The truth is, having registered the biometrics of all inmates and the fugitives, the escapees can only run, they can never hide,” he emphasised.

Mr Aregbesola stressed that the process of re-arrest might take long, but as long as the escapees functioned as human beings, they would be recaptured.

“Sad as the jailbreak and the escape were, the escapees can only survive to the extent of living outside human communities,” he said.


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