The Federal Government has said it will pardon the inmates who escaped from the custodial centre in Owerri, the Imo State capital, if they voluntarily return.
Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, disclosed this during the inspection of the centre on Tuesday.
According to the minister, escape from custody is unlawful, and a crime but noted that if those who escaped return willingly, they will be pardoned from a trial for unlawful escape.
He, however, insisted that the inmates will still face trial for their actual offence and serve their jail term, if convicted.
He said: “Unlawful escape from custody is a crime but the government in its magnanimity will grant amnesty to prisoners who willfully return.
“They will no longer be charged with an 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.”
Aregbesola described the Monday jailbreak at Owerri Correctional Center and the razing of the Imo State Police Command headquarters as the worst in the recent history of the country, described the perpetrators as terrorists.
He vowed that those who perpetrated the attack would be apprehended and prosecuted.