At least 85 of the inmates released by gunmen who attacked the Owerri Correctional Center in the early hours of Monday have returned, according to investigation.
Recall that 1,884 inmates of the facility were set free by rampaging gunmen, alleged to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, and the Eastern Security Network, ESN, when they attacked the correctional center and the Imo State Police Command headquarters.
The attackers, who razed no fewer than 50 vehicles also attacked a military base at Ukwuorji on the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway and burnt a soldier in a car before they fled.
Investigations revealed that 85 of the released inmates had voluntarily returned to the Correctional Centre.
National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCS, had earlier on Tuesday informed that 57 inmates had returned to the centre.
But further check on Wednesday showed that more fleeing inmates had returned to the Centre, bringing the number to 85.
However, investigation revealed that non of the hardened criminals in the facility who were released had returned to the Centre.
Similarly, no inmate serving life imprisonment and those sentenced to death and and on life imprisonments had returned to the Centre.
A source at the Centre, who pleaded anonymity, said, “We now have about 85 inmates in our custody this Wednesday afternoon. We are hopeful that more inmates would return. Though the number has not been made public, but I can confirm that as of this afternoon we now have about 85 inmates.
“While some returned on their own accord, others were brought by their lawyers and family members. We are very hopeful that more inmates will come back on their own. This is just a reformative centre and we hope that those of them who have turned new leaf will come back on their own.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Centre, James Madugba, said that he could not immediately confirm the actual number of inmates who had returned.