The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has ordered operatives of the Nigeria Correctional Service to “shoot to kill” anyone who attempts any attack on the correctional centre, noting that any attack on the facility is an attack on the Nigeria and must never be allowed again.
He gave the order while inspecting the facility at the Agodi Custodial Centre, Ibadan on Monday which was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Sola Fasure.
“Any effort to breach our facility is not acceptable. Don’t shoot to injure, shoot to kill. Don’t shoot to disable, shoot to kill. This facility is a total embodiment of the authority of the Nigerian state to guarantee the security of the people,” the Minister said.
Mr. Aregbesola asked the officers “to make it difficult for anyone to penetrate the facility because it is a red zone”.
He said, “It is a red zone, a dangerous zone. Whoever attempts to breach the security here is already dead. He must not live to tell the story. Other people will tell his or her story.”
He said “the facilities need to be decongested to achieve their objectives of reforming those being held there.”
He complained about the huge cost of feeding the inmates, saying state governments also needed to cooperate with the federal government on efforts to decongest the facilities.
The Interior Minister noted that the federal government is compiling lists of inmates with the inability to pay their fines adding that he would appeal to willing and able Nigerians to raise the fines to free the inmates.
“There are other inmates who have spent far beyond the limits of their sentences should they be found guilty of the offences against them. The total number of convicts at Agodi is less than 400 and we have 1001 inmates there, which means about two thirds of the inmates are awaiting trial,” he added.
At least 5,238 inmates escaped from various prisons across Nigeria in 2021. On October 22, some 837 inmates escaped from the Oyo facility but Aregbesola said 262 had been recaptured.