There is no end in sight to the manhunt for the 252 inmates that escaped from Jos Correctional Centre in Plateau State on November 28, 2021.
The attackers behind the jail break had arrived at the facility around 5pm in disguise.
They had accessed the facility through the main entrance in the guise of people who were there to preach to inmates.
Six months after the daring jail break, which left four people dead and several security operatives injured, the escapees are still at large.
Sources from the prison said among the 252 inmates that escaped were those on death row, those awaiting trial and those waiting to meet up bail conditions. The sources said there were also those held on more serious crimes such as kidnapping, gun running and murder.
It was gathered that the knowledge of the last group among the escapees had jolted residents of Plateau State, with many being on alert despite assurances by security agencies that residents should remain calm as they were trailing the escaped inmates.
According to Hassan Mahmud, a resident of Jos North Local Government Area, there were possibilities that some of the escaped prisoners had fled the state.
He said the first 48 hours after the jailbreak was key and security agents should have gone all out to ensure that the inmates were re-arrested and incarcerated.
“It’s now about six months since the incident and we may never, ever be able to get some of the inmates and that spells danger because some of them may commit crimes in other places. You also have to look at the fact that these criminals have escaped justice and that may be the end of it,” he said.
Findings by Daily Trust showed six months after the jail break, only 35 of the 252 runaway inmates have been re-arrested with at least 217 still unaccounted for.
The spokesperson of the correctional centre, Geoffrey Longdiem, said efforts are ongoing to re-arrest the remaining escaped inmates.
However, a senior officer at the centre who pleaded anonymity dismissed insinuations that the prison may have been overcrowded to warrant a prison break.
He said the Jos correctional centre has a capacity to accommodate 1,159 inmates and there was never a time the facility was overcrowded.
“We hardly have more than 1,000 at any point in time,” he said, adding that there are altogether seven correctional centres in Plateau State located at Pankshin, Langtang, Wase, Shendam, Lakushi (Shendam) and those of Lamingo and Jos city.
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