The Federal Government has promised to grant amnesty to inmates who escaped during the attack on the custodial centre in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Monday, if they willfully return.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, gave the assurance while inspecting the centre on Tuesday.
He said unlawful escape from custody was a crime, but that willful returnees would be exempted from trial for unlawful escape, but not for the actual crimes for which they were initially convicted.
Aregbesola advised the fugitives to return, while he vowed to ensure that those involved in the attack are brought to justice.
He said the Federal Government would leave no stone unturned to fish out perpetrators of the “dastardly act.”
He said: “Unlawful escape from custody is a crime, but government in its magnanimity will grant amnesty to prisoners who willfully return.
“They will no longer be charged with unlawful escape but only for the initial crimes that took them to prison.
“So, we urge all escapees to return before they are caught on the run.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Deputy Controller of Correctional Service in charge of Owerri custodial centre, DCC Seye Oduntan, said 36 inmates stayed back after the attack, while six persons had so far returned.