A total of 3,906 prisoners, who fled some of the nation’s custodial centres, during various incidences of prison breaks, are still at large, the Federal Government said on Thursday.
The Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this during the weekly ministerial briefing, hosted by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
According to Aregbesola, of the 4,369 inmates that escaped from the centres from 2020 till date, 984 of the number had been recaptured.
He however noted that the biometrics of all custodial inmates in the country had been taken, which he said would enable the escapees to be tracked and rearrested.
“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.
“I will like to inform Nigerians that we have captured the biometric information of all inmates in the facilities of NCoS working in partnership with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission, NIMC.
“Therefore, we have the capacity and are tracking all escapees from our facilities. In addition, we are working with and have shared the details of escapees with INTERPOL, to check the risks of cross border movements,” he said.
Aregbesola also said that 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.
He said 560 inmates have been enrolled for WAEC/NECO examinations while 2,300 are enrolled for Adult Literacy classes in several custodial centres.
Aregbesola said 2,742,207 passports have been issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in the last two years.
The Minister revealed that the ministry was aware of the challenges faced by Nigerians in securing their passports but noted that effort is being put in place to make it a thing of the past.