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FG offers amnesty to Owerri returnee prisoners

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Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has promised to grant amnesty to any prisoner who willingly returns to the custodial centre in Owerri from where the detainees escaped recently.

The minister made the promise while inspecting the centre on Tuesday, April 6, following last Sunday’s breakout during an attack on the facility by unknown gunmen.

Rauf Aregbesola said that unlawful escape from custody was a crime but assured that those who return voluntarily will be exempted from trial for unlawful escape, but not for the actual crimes for which they were initially convicted.

He advised the fugitives to return and vowed to ensure that those involved in the attack were brought to book.

According to the minister, the Federal Government will leave no stone unturned to fish out perpetrators of what he described as a “dastardly act.”

“Unlawful escape from custody is a crime but the 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,” he said.

Speaking, Deputy Controller of Correctional Service in charge of Owerri Custodial Centre, DCC Seye Oduntan, said that 36 inmates stayed back after the attack while six persons had so far returned.

He urged members of the public to have faith on security agencies and feed them with useful information that would lead to the arrest of the fugitives.

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