The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday disclosed that despite rearresting 984 inmates from jailbreaks spanning 2020 to date, security operatives are still on the manhunt for 3,906 still at large.
His statement is coming a few weeks after unknown gunmen attacked the Medium Security Custodial Centre in the Abolongo area of Oyo State, where some inmates were said to have escaped from the correctional facility.
However, a few hours after the siege, the Federal Government announced that operatives had recaptured some of the inmates who escaped.
Aregbesola, who spoke on Thursday at a briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team at the State House in Abuja, put the current total figures of inmates who fled various custodial centres at 4,369.
The minister further hinted that biometrics of all inmates in the country have been captured with the hope that the exercise will enable the escapees to be tracked with time and rearrested.
According to him, the recent attacks on the country's correctional facilities are a reflection of the current insecurity situation in the country.
He explained that the government is on the trail of some of the attackers with a couple of them arrested in Imo State and assured Nigerians that a ministerial task force will soon be inaugurated to enforce the re-arrest of all escapees and their collaborators.
Aregbesola said: “How long can they continue to run from the state? The state is a patient bird. You can run but you can never hide.
“We have their biometrics. Whenever and wherever they appear to transact any business, their cover will be blown.”
In a related development, the interior minister announced that at least 465 inmates are running various Degrees around the country, adding that 85 of this are running postgraduate programmes, including four who are doing Ph.D programmes.
The ex-governor also disclosed that 560 inmates have been enrolled for WAEC/NECO examinations while 2,300 are enrolled for adult literacy classes in several custodial centres.