At least 85 inmates, who left the Owerri Correctional Centre after the early Monday morning attack by unknown gunmen have Reportedly returned.
1,884 inmates were freed when the gunmen struck the Correctional Centre and the Imo State Police Command headquarters in Owerri, respectively.
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.
However, latest reports indicate that 85 inmates had voluntarily returned to the Correctional Centre.
The National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service had said on Tuesday evening that 57 inmates had returned to the centre.
But a further check on Wednesday showed that more fleeing inmates had returned to the Centre increasing the number to 85.
Further investigation by The PUNCH revealed that non of the hardened criminals had returned to the Centre.
Also, non of the inmates who were sentenced to death and and on life imprisonments had returned to the Centre.
A source at the Centre who confided in our correspondent said “we now have about 85 inmates as 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.
He, however, said that no fewer than 60 inmates had returned to the Correctional Centre.