Minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola says the criminals who fled the custodial centre in Owerri, Imo state capital, will be pardoned if they willingly return.
Aregbesola made the promise while inspecting the centre on Tuesday after an attack on the facility.
He mentioned that the illegal escape from the correctional centre is a crime but assured that voluntary returnees will be excluded from prosecution.
Aregbesola said he will guarantee that those involved in the attack are brought to book.
The minister also said the federal government will look high and low to fish out culprits of what he called a “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 deputy controller of correctional service in charge of Owerri custodial centre, Seye Oduntan disclosed that 36 prisoners stayed back after the attack while six persons had so far returned.
The police have accused the censured Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being responsible for the jail break and also the attack on a police command headquarters in the state.