“They can only run, they cannot hide; they are like trapped mouse, we will get them,’’ Aregbesola promised.
He gave the assurance while fielding questions at the flagship interview programme of the News Agency of Nigeria , “NAN Forum’’.
“They will open bank accounts; they will have telephone numbers; they are just deceiving themselves; they will be caught.
“They are like trapped mouse. Where is a trapped mouse going?
If you release the rope used to trap the mouse, you are just entertaining yourself, later you’d retrieve the rope and bring the mouse home.
“They are trapped as far as I am concerned,’’ he stressed.
The minister conceded that the recapture of the fugitives was slow, but assured that they would be re-arrested all the same, no matter how long it took.
“Government is not giving up; government is the most difficult institution to offend; it has long insatiable memories.
“I have read about criminals or suspects who ran away from justice forever or even died as fugitives, but ultimately found out when the DNA of their bones were assessed and analysed.
“Government is a patient institution; we have done what we should do; there is nobody today in our custodial facility without all the biometrics registered; none.
“All inmates, either as awaiting-trial persons or as convicts in our custodial facilities are registered in our data base or have their biometrics in the data base.
“To the extent that that is done, unless that person does not exist as a human being, it is a question of time before we get them; that is the assurance I want to give Nigerians,’’ he said.
The minister stressed that the Ministry of Interior was collaborating with relevant security agencies and other ministries to ensure the arrest of the fugitives.
“We need the cooperation of all the other agencies; the cooperation of other operators in the system to help us.
“We have circulated the biometrics of the fugitives to every relevant organisation that could help us use the data to apprehend them and we are not relenting.
“I am meeting with the Minister of Finance on some things to do with that because we need to work directly with that ministry and some of its agencies.
“I am also meeting with the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy since some of its agencies are well-positioned to accelerate the process of re-arrest
“The truth is, having registered the biometrics of all inmates and the fugitives, the escapees can only run, they can never hide,’’ he emphasised.
Aregbesola stressed that the process of re-arrest might take long, but as long as the escapees functioned as human beings, they would be recaptured.
The minister reiterated that all those who escaped from custodial centres including those involved in the jailbreak of July 5 at the Kuje Custodial Centre in the FCT would be rearrested.
“Sad as the jailbreak and the escape were, the escapees can only survive to the extent of living outside human communities,’’ he said.
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