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Tinubu has ordered recapture of fleeing inmates-Interior minister

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

The Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo has said the president, Bola Tinubu, has issued a marching order that all fleeing inmates across the country should be recaptured.

Between 2021 and 2022, there were at least seven attacks on custodial centres across the country where a large number of inmates escaped from the centres.

The seven attacked custodial centres are; Kuje, Kogi, Jos, Abologo, Owerri, Okitipupa, and Oko prisons.

To date, about 4000 inmates are still at large. Addressing journalists after the inspection of the facilities at the Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Correctional Service on Wednesday, Tunji-Ojo said the service would work hard to ensure the order given by the president on fleeing inmates is followed to the letter.

He also said the Nigerian Correctional Service would work in collaboration with the security agencies in the country to recapture them.

Tunji-Ojo said, “The president has given us a matching order and it involves recapturing the fleeing inmates. We will work with other security agencies to achieve this. We will work round the clock so that they are back from wherever they are. We will ensure that the ones inside do not go out.” He also said acts of sabotage would not be tolerated from correctional officers.

Tunji Ojo said, “We will also not tolerate sabotage such as negligence of duty among others. We are ready to show the door to whoever wants to sabotage. Earlier, at the Nigeria Immigration Service, the minister vowed to review all existing agreements to improve the efficiency of the service.

He said he would set up a team who would do the review, adding that those agreements were holding the Service back in actualising its mandates.

“Any agreements (entered into by NIS) that are holding us back as a nation must go. I will set up a team to look into this. ”

Tunji-Ojo stressed the need to reduce the waiting period to get an international passport, lamenting that Nigerians spend months to get the document.

He lamented that his daughter was delayed for six months before she could get her passport.“My daughter waited for six months to get her passport booklet. I was a House committee on NDDC chairman, I faced this, tell me what an average Nigerian will face. It’s like we are waiting for a passport to heaven. ”

He also directed that Nigerians seeking to obtain international passports must be treated with respect, especially those in foreign countries.

Tunji-Ojo specifically said personnel at the London passport office must heed his directive.

He said, “A passport is a right and not a privilege. Nigerians anywhere they are especially those outside the shores of the country must be treated with respect. Those in the London Immigration office must improve its services and accord Nigerians maximum respect while seeking travel documents. Our citizens wherever they are must be proud of who they are.”

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