The public relations officer (PRO) of Owerri custodial centre, Imo state, James Maduba, has said 36 inmates who escaped during Monday’s jailbreak are now back in custody.
On Monday, the correctional centre and a police command were attacked by gunmen at midnight.
The Nigerian Correctional Service has said 1,844 inmates were set free during the attack on its facility.
In a statement, NCS's spokesman, Francis Enobore, had said the attacker “gained entrance into the yard by using explosives to blast the administrative block and forcefully released a total of 1,844 inmates in custody.”
Enobore explained that as at last count, six inmates voluntarily returned to the facility while 35 inmates refused to escape.
He had said: "There were 1,881 inmates in the correctional centre before the attack and 35 opted to stay behind while six had returned voluntarily."
But speaking on Arise TV on Wednesday, Maduba said another 36 inmates were rearrested while others returned willingly.
He said, “We had about 1,881 inmates before the strike and on that very day. Now we have about 78 here. Some returned voluntarily, some were recaptured. For now, we have 78 inmates.”
Maduba also said efforts were being made to successfully repel future attacks.
“Recollect that the minister was here yesterday and the comptroller-general of corrections, we are putting heads together to make more efforts to fortify the place to make sure that such a thing doesn’t repeat itself,” he added.
The Nigerian government had on Tuesday vowed to hunt down all inmates who escaped during the Owerri Prison break, saying they cannot escape justice.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola made the vow when he visited the attacked Owerri Custodial Centre.
“We will react appropriately by going after these criminals and making them face the full wrath of the law. We will leave no stone unturned in fishing them out. Make no mistake; they will be hunted to the end of the earth. They can only run, but they cannot hide. We shall bring them to justice, or in the alternative, take justice to them,” the minister said.
Aregbesola urged all escaped inmates to voluntarily return to custody and that those who heed this call would be given amnesty on the possible consequences of escaping from lawful custody.