Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has told all prisoners who escaped from the Benin Medium Security Correctional Centre and Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre, to voluntarily return before the state government goes after them.
On Monday, October 19, 2020, hoodlums orchestrated jailbreaks in the two centres during the nationwide #ENDSARS protests in the state.
However, following the incidents, the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) announced that 1,993 inmates escaped from their facilities.
On Wednesday, Obaseki, his deputy Philip Shaibu; a deputy inspector-general of police, Celestine Okoye; the state commissioner of police, Johnson Kokumo went on an assessment tour of the facilities.
During the assessment, the controller of corrections, Edo State Command, Babayo Maisanda told the governor that 1,818 inmates were still at large, while 163 have been re-arrested, six have returned voluntarily.
Speaking, Obaseki condemned the incident, saying he would not allow hoodlums to operate in such a manner.
The governor, therefore, warned prison escapees to turn themselves in before Friday, October 23, 2020, or face the wrath of the law.
He said, “I want to use this situation to thank the law-abiding citizens of the state for having the presence of mind call while different parts of the state were being attacked in the guise of EndSARS protest. What we have a problem with are hooliganism and sheer brigandage and that we will not accept or tolerate in Edo State.
“We know that some of the inmates may have been released by their plan and others used the opportunity to get out of the facilities. We are using this opportunity to appeal to all inmates in our correctional services who have escaped to come back on their own before the close of business on Friday, this week.
“If they come in and go to the Nigeria Police Force Command headquarters in Benin City, nothing will be done to them. However, those who do not report back after Friday night, we have all their records, we have their biometrics, we would go after them and ensure that we bring them and the appropriate sanction will be meted against them.”
The deputy Inspector-General of police, however, assured the governor that the police was doing its best to arrest some of the hoodlums that attacked the police facilities and the NCoS.