Why Kidnappers are in charge

EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO'S COLUMN OPINION

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

The Nigerian police council headed by the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday May 23rd 2019 confirmed Mr. Adamu Mohammed of Nasarawa state as the substantive inspector General of police. 

Mohammed had acted as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer for nearly six months.

Incidentally, the police council which is a constitutional body is also made up of state governors.

It is important to emphasize the aspect of the membership of the police council by the state governors because the bulk of the policing jobs are usually done amongst the people in the different states and local councils of the federation whereby the substantial percentage of the constituents reside. As we may be aware, section 14 of the Constitution says the Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria. Also the primary purpose of government is the provision of security of lives and property of the Nigerian citizens. 

So it is safe to state that the confirmation of a staff on probation goes to show that the person has performed optimally. 

There is no doubt that since coming on board, around early January when the loquacious erstwhile Inspector General of police Alhaji Kpodum Idris from Niger State exited after a disgraceful and lackluster tenure, the now confirmed IGP has shown sparks of his willingness to perform. 

The other question is to ascertain if he has been able to transform his body language to perform with the reality of meeting up with the realities of our times given that Nigeria is now in a monumental security nightmare. 

To the second question of whether he has performed, one is left to say that it is only just too early to authoritatively assert if he has performed or not but one certainty is that his job is well cut out for him. This is made manifest by the increasingly emerging security challenges in the whole of Nigeria. 

The ball is therefore in the court of the newly confirmed inspector General of police to show remarkable distinction between himself and the immediate past police boss who almost crippled the police operationally.

The Nigeria Police Force is not really a force to reckon with because of the obvious failures of law enforcement by the police which has resulted in the collapse of law and order all across Nigeria with the North West and North East of Nigeria representing spectacles in instability and insecurity.

The most disturbing criminal phenomenon that Nigeria face at this moment are the state of overwhelming control of the public space by armed kidnappers.

The central and state governments have shown lack of political will to tackle the insecurity.

The federal government as currently composed has failed to bring the situation of anarchy and doom being spread by bandits and kidnappers to a close. This is because the security services and especially the police seems to be lacking the capacity to confront these dare devil kidnappers and bandits.

Although the situation has not really collapsed totally because we can at least be consoled that the police has in the last couple of months informed Nigerians about the arrests of some of those armed bandits and kidnappers. The missing link is the absence of a robustly executed prosecution making use of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act signed into law in 2015(ACJA of 2015).  I will return to this ACJA of 2015. Lets review the profiles of arrests of kidnappers in the past couple of months and then juxtapose this development with the absence of effective and efficient prosecution of kidnappers which creates a climate of impunity which culminates in the state of anarchy and doom that Nigeria represents now. 

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday May 15th 2019 paraded 93 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers terrorizing Niger, Katsina and Kaduna States, especially Kaduna-Abuja highway.

It said 35; AK47 Rifles, 21 Dane Guns, 500 live ammunition and a host of other weapons including a Rocket launcher were recovered from the suspects.

Parading the suspects at Katari village along Kaduna-Abuja highway, the Force Spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, said the 93 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers were arrested within the past two weeks in joint operations in Kaduna, Niger and Katsina States.

According to Mba, 35 AK47 Rifles, 21 Dane Guns and more than 500 live ammunition were recovered from the suspects.

The Force Spokesman attributed the successful arrests and seizures to Operation Puff Adder launched to clear criminals away from Kaduna-Abuja expressway and Nigeria at large.

DCP Mba who was flanked by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Aji Ali Janga said, the joint operations comprised policemen from operations, intelligence, technical, counter terrorism and special protection units among others.

He said that the operation was designed largely to tackle kidnapping, robbery and banditry giving Nigerians sleepless nights, adding that the successes recorded so far were huge.

According to him, “The suspects were arrested from Matari Forest, Niger axis and some were pursued to as far as Katsina.

The Plateau State Police Command around March also paraded seventeen persons over crimes ranging from culpable homicide, armed robbery criminal conspiracy, rape, abduction among others.

The command stated this through the Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, while briefing journalists at its headquarters in Jos.

The Ondo State Police Command Wednesday April 10th 2019 paraded five suspected kidnappers who were members of gangs terrorizing the Akunnu Akoko area of the state

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Undie Adie, while addressing journalists during the parade of the suspects, said the men were members of the gang that abducted one Prince Omoghae Igbegbon on April 2, 2019, on Akunnu-Akoko/Auga-Akoko road.

According to the state police boss, the suspects allegedly disposed their victim of the sum of N185,000 before demanding N30 million ransom for his release.

FCT Police Command on March 29th 2019, paraded 37 suspects for kidnapping, armed robbery, car theft, phone snatching and other sundry crimes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Parading the suspects, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, said the command will continue to be proactive in its fight against crime by deploying crime fighting strategies that will satisfy the security yearnings of residents.

He noted that the command in its renewed efforts to rid the city of crimes, embarked on raids and stop search operations, to deny hoodlums freedom of operation.

Reeling the successes of the command, he said the command’s anti-kidnapping squad on March 16, 2019 arrested 20-year-old Nasiru Mohammed, 19-year-old Sale Bello, and 30-year-old Hassan Audu and rescued seven-year-old Rejoice Godwin, and nine-year-old Seke Godwin, who were abducted on March 8, in Yemi, Zuba, from their captors at Lambata, in Niger State.

The Kaduna State Police Command on April 26th 2019 paraded 34 suspected criminals, including kidnappers and armed bandits terrorizing the state.

The command also arrested suspects alleged to have rustled over 300 cattle and sheep. All the suspects are currently undergoing further investigation.

The Nigeria Police Force, Sokoto command on December 17th2018 paraded 19suspects, for participating in criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, armed robbers, Cattle rustling, banditry and other forms of criminal activities within the state.

Parading the suspects at the state headquarters on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Cordelia Nwaiwe that one Lawali Aliyu (M), from More, Kware Local Government Area, was apprehended with live ammunition.

The suspect was nabbed at a village called Araba of Illela Local Government, a border town between Nigeria and Republic of Niger while trying to smuggle about 4,000 AK 47 live ammunition for onward distribution to Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi State.

Aliyu, who confessed to have been in the business for long claimed he got the ammunition from one Ibrahim who resides in Galmi, a town in the Niger Republic. He also confessed to have participated in several kidnappings and robbery operations in the aforementioned States.

Also paraded alongside Aliyu are Muh’d Dankani (America) of Dingim village who also supplies arms to be delivered to one Malama Rahmatu, Muh’d Dogo S/Garin Akuzo in Tursa village of Rabah Local Governmennt.

Other suspected criminal paraded by the police are Abdullahi Isah, Musa Na Malam Lawali, Muh’d Lawali, Muh’d Sani, Ibrahim Alh Shuaibu, Alh Haruna Tursa, Ibrahim Garba, Bello Alhaji Danbaba, Umar Maude and Muh’d Rabiu, all are members of the operation gruop.

In Abuja also, the Nigeria Police in 2018 November, paraded fifty-nine (59) kidnapping, armed robbery and cattle rustling gangs including those responsible for the kidnap and murder of Vice Chairman of Abaji area council and other recent kidnapings and armed robberies in Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.

The name of the suspects are Bello Alhaji Lawal ‘M’ 60Yrs – Gang Leader, Armourer Of The Gang, Sadiq Danladi ‘M’ 29Yrs, Abubakar Mohammed ‘M’ 25Yrs, Abubakar Usman ‘M’ 28Yrs, Abdullahi Idris ‘M’ 50Yrs, Abubakar Suleiman ‘M’ 20Yrs, Ibrahim Babangida ‘M’ 26Yrs

According to then Force Public Relations Officer, Ag. Dcp Jimoh Moshood at the Force Headquarters, Abuja he said that on 24th November, 2018, the IGP Special Strike Force on violent crimes attached to Operation Absolute Sanity in Gawu Babaginda, Niger State led by DCP Yusuf Kolo, working on actionable intelligence in a follow up of a case of Criminal Conspiracy, Armed Robbery and Kidnapping of the Vice Chairman of Abaji Area Council and four (4) others along Suleja-Minna Road, Niger State, trailed and arrested the suspects in their hideout at Tunga Maje Forest along Zuba-Gwagwalada Road, Abuja, where the syndicate plan their operations and keep hostage of their kidnap victims.

He also said that fifty-two (52) kidnapping/armed robbery and cattle rustling syndicate responsible for recent kidnapping/armed robbery in Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.

The names of the 1ST GANG are: ABDULRA’UF YUSUF ‘M’ 45YRS(Gang Leader), a Libya trained Gorilla Fighter, BASHIRU AMINU ‘M’ 30YRS (buys and supply firearms and ammunition to armed bandits and other members of the group), ALIYU SAIDU ‘M’ 33YRS, MUSA ADAMU ‘M’ 35YRS, ISAH HARUNA ‘M’ 55YRS, ABDULLAHI HARUNA ‘M’ 56YRS, MOHAMMED TUKUR ‘M’ 25YRS, ABDULLAHI BUHARI ‘M’ 27YRS, ALIYU ABUDULLAHI ‘M’ 29YRS, TUKUR HASSAN ‘M’ 26YRS, MANDE ALERI ‘M’ 30YRS, SANI ALI ‘M’ 21YRS, SHEHU UMAR ‘M’ 30YRS, IBRAHIM GARBA ‘M’ 21YRS, MOHAMMED SANI ‘M’ 30YRS, MOHHAMED BELLO ‘M’ 35YRS, SULE DAMBULE ‘M’ 48YRS, AHMADU BUBA ‘M’ 27YRS, MOHAMMED BAUDE ‘M’ 63YRS, ABUBAKAR UMAR ‘M’ 52YRS, ABUBAKAR TURAI ‘M’ 66YRS, ABUBAKAR SALA ‘M’ 37YRS, IBRAHIM MOHAMMED ‘M’ 31YRS, ABUBAKAR MANDE ‘M’ 20YRS, ABUBAKAR HUSSAINI ‘M’ 60YRS, USMAN HASSAN ‘M’ 65YRS, SHEHU ABUBAKAR ‘M’ 70YRS, USMAN UMAR ‘M’ 18YRS, YAHAYA LAWAL ‘M’ 55YRS.

The names of the 2ND GANG are : ISIYAKU SAMAILA ‘M’ 37 YRS, MOHAMMED RILWANU ‘M’ 40YRS, USMAN SANI ‘M’ 35YRS, MOHAMMED SHUAIBU ‘M’ 49YRS, RABIU TUKUR ‘M’ 30YRS, SURAJO SULEIMAN ‘M’ 45YRS, ABDULLAHI YA’U ‘M’ 30YRS, ABDULLAHI IBRAHIM ‘M’ 58YRS, ABUBAKAR AHMED ‘M’ 42YRS, MUSA ABDULLAHI ‘M’ 48YRS, ISAH WAZIRI ‘M’ 35YRS, SHUAIBU IBRAHIM ‘M’ 25YRS, SHUAIBU USMAN ‘M’ 18YRS, FAISAL SURAJO ‘M’ 18YRS, KAMALU ABDULMUMINI ‘M’ 30 YRS, IBRAHIM MUSA ‘M’ 28YRS

The names of the 3RD GANG are: ABDULKARIM ADAMU ‘M’ 27YRS, SANI ALH LAWAL ‘M’ 20YRS, UMAR GARBA ‘M’ 22YRS, HUSSAINI MAMMAN ‘M’ 25YRS, SANI UMAR ‘M’ 23YRS, MUSA IBRAHIM ‘M’ 28YRS, UMAR KIRUWA ‘M’ 30YRS.

The EXHIBITS: Eight (8) AK47 Rifles, One (1) G3 Rifle, Two (2) Single Barrel Gun, One (1) Dane Gun, One (1) Revolver Pistol, One Hundred and Forty Five (145) Ammunition, Five (5) Live Cartridges, Sixteen (16) Swords, Three (3) Operational Vehicles of the gangs, Two (2) Bajaj Motorcycle and Charms.

In Kaduna, the Commissioner of Police Ahmad Abdul-Raman, on December 19th 2018 paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters; said kidnapping was taking a new turn with females leading the gang. He said the two female, Kaduna State Police Command has paraded two notorious female kidnappers and their male accomplice for killing a man after collecting N1.5m ransom.

Commissioner of Police Ahmad Abdul-Raman, who paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters said kidnapping was taking a new turn with females leading the gang.

He said the two female kidnappers Hashiya Dauda, 23, and Safara’u Mohammed Tahir, 23, were arrested alongside Ishaq Tanimu Sulaiman, 33, Sale Ya’u, 20, Yusuf Sulaiman, 23, and Iliyasu Ali, 22.

He said the five suspects were undergoing investigations for criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and being in possession of firearms and will be charged to court soon.

The police in Niger State on February 14th 2019 paraded four suspected kidnappers terrorising Fota village in Lapai Local Government.

The suspected kidnappers, Mohammed Abubakar, Mamuda Mohammed, Mohammed Mohammed and Amadu Garba , admitted to committing the crime, adding that their profits engendered them to live big like directors in ministries.

The police in Oyo State on May 25th 2019 paraded a 28-year old Naval officer, Jimoh Adesoye, and 14 others arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for robbery kidnapping and other crimes.

According to a report by Vanguard newspaper on Friday, two of the suspects are twin brothers.

Speaking with journalist at Police Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan Thursday, the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, said the Naval officer was arrested with 12 members of his gang who had been on the wanted list of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos.

“Six of the suspects were arrested in their criminal hideout at Ilasa area, Ogbomoso. This led to the arrest of other members of the gang at various locations,” he said

“The lance corporal often used his position and uniform to transport vehicles snatched by the gang and helped dispose of the stolen vehicles,” he said.

‘’The gang, which is also on the wanted list of SARS in Lagos and Kwara states, was responsible for the spate of armed robbery and car snatching along the Ogbomoso-Ilorin Expressway, Oyo State, Lagos, Kwara and other states in the South-West.’

The Borno state Police Command on 1st January 2019 paraded four-man suspected gang in connection with the kidnapping of one Usman Hassan of Tugs village of Damboa local government of Borno state, where they demanded the ransom of N21 million.

Parading the suspects at the Police headquarters, Maiduguri, the Borno state capital Monday night, the Police Commissioner. Mr. Damain Chukwu said “on 13th December, 2018 at about 02;00 hours one Usman Hassan of Tugs village of Damboa local government area was kidnapped”.

” On 17 December, 2018, at about 20:10 hours, information reached DPO Askira Uba of the kidnap, I mobilized personnel and the Civilian JTF moved to the victim’s house and laid ambush on the date the kidnappers came to collect the ransom of N21 million from the relatives”.

“One Usman Abdul took the police to to their hideouts,where two other suspected were arrested and the victim rescued. One Musa Haruna in whose house the plan was hatched was equally arrested,” Chukwu said.

The problem is with prosecution and punishment for these kidnappers. We can see that over 200 kidnappers have been paraded but with the exception of Lagos state and Delta State judicial systems that have sentenced less than 5 kidnappers to various terms of imprisonments, not one of those paraded with an array of sophisticated weapons in the entire Northern Nigeria have been successfully prosecuted and jailed. The state of Nigerian prisons are also so pathetic that there are cases of jail breaks. But why are these armed kidnappers not been prosecuted even with a new fasttract legal mechanism known as administration of criminal justice Act? The ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 2015 is an Act to provide for the administration of criminal justice in the courts of the Federal Capital Territory and other federal courts in Nigeria; and for related matters.

ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: PART 1-PRELIMINARY

1.    A. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the system of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interests of the suspect, the defendant, and the victim. B.   The courts, law enforcement agencies and other authorities or persons involved in criminal justice administration shall ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act for the realization of its purposes. 2.    A. Without prejudice to section 86 of this Act, the provisions of this Act shall apply to criminal trials for offences established by an Act of the National Assembly and other offences punishable in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.B. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to a Court Martial.

It would appear that the law is not the obstacle but the enforcers of the law. This is where the new IGP and the Attorneys Generals of Nigerian federation and States must act decisively. The level of corruption and compromises amongst the police and the justice department are such that we must address if we hope to arrest the trend of the evil menace of armed kidnappers holding us by the jugular. We must reform the police and effectively monitor and oversight the officers who carry out prosecutions and judges who must be compelled to act as ministers in the Temple of justice. So long as impunity reigns supreme in high places, kidnappers will keep roaming about the public spaces constituting SPECTACULAR SECURITY NIGHTMARES TO ALL IRRESPECTIVE OF CLASSES. 

*Emmanuel Onwubiko heads HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs@www.thenigerianinsidernews.com;www.emmanuelonwubiko.comwww.huriwa@blogspot.com;www.huriwanigeria.com.

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