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30.10.2021 Social Justice Armed Robbers, Kidnappers, Murderers… ‘122 Oyo Prison Escapees Are Hardened Criminals’

Published 30th Oct, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi

The Nigerian Correctional Centre (NCoS) on Wednesday released the names and headshots of 122 inmates who escaped from the Abolongo Custodial Centre in Oyo State.

On October 22, the inmates escaped the correctional centre after a group of heavily armed men raided the facility.

The escapees were arrested and sentenced for serious crimes ranging from unlawful sexual intercourse to rape, murder, felony, kidnapping and armed robbery, according to a press statement by the NCoS.

Some Nigerians have raised the alarm over the fleeing inmates, tagging them “hardened criminals”, considering the weight of their offences. Their worry is that there could be a proliferation of crime when those genuinely guilty of these offences find themselves integrated into society.

READ ALSO: How Robbers on Mission to Free Colleagues Conducted Successful Operation at Oyo Prison

High-profile suspects like Sunday Shodipe, a self-confessed kidnapper and serial killer, and  Olaniyan Amos, who was arraigned for fraud, were being detained at the Abolongo custody when the gunmen invaded the facility.

FIJ learned that the attackers of the prison facility were on a mission to free two convicted robbers from Kogi, who were involved in raiding the First Bank branch in the Okeho area of Oyo town.

READ ALSO: Oyo Prison Attackers Broke Fence With Grenades, Killed Amotekun Officer

However, since the correctional centre was attacked, 262 out of over 800 escapees have returned, according to a press statement by Olanrewaju Anjorin, the spokesman for Oyo NCoS.  A manhunt has since been launched to return other escapees into custody.

The NCoS has long been criticised for lacking the capacity to reform hardened criminals convicted and remanded in its custody. A collaborative investigation launched by TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) revealed how crimes and immoralities are promoted in Nigerian correctional centres and how the prisons are a cesspool of the exact reasons for which they hold inmates.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the country’s poor criminal justice system, Tope Fasua, a former presidential candidate, wondered why the correctional centre would allow “these hardened criminals” to be unleashed.

“What sort of a ridiculous judicial system keeps this number of people on awaiting trial?” Mayowa Lala, a social media user, also wondered.

Tolulope Fashola, another social media user, said: “Our justice system needs overhauling. Why should someone be awaiting trial for years?”

Published 30th Oct, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi

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