Thursday, 27 July 2017

IG seeks harsh punishment against kidnapping

According to Inspector-General (IG) Ibrahim Idris, kidnapping is thriving because there are no laws in place.

He spoke in Abuja during the monthly meeting with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers.

He said: “When I went to the National Assembly, I told them that what we need to challenge kidnapping is punishment. I think these boys see us parade people but they don’t see them taken to court or sentenced to death.

“In some states where kidnapping leads to death of somebody, the penalty is death. But they only see the court sentencing such persons to 10 years or life imprisonment.

“I feel that is why they feel more relaxed and I told the National Assembly that we need to have more stringent punishment for kidnappers. I think that is the only way to check the menace because they see it as a child’s play.

Idris added: “If you go all over the commands across the states, you would discover that some of these youths are getting more involved in kidnapping. Like I told the National Assembly, I believe if we can get laws to check it, we are going to see a lot of changes.

“In Niger Republic, a Boko Haram suspect was arrested and within one week, judgment was passed.

That sends a very strong message that whoever that is planning to go into it should desist. But here, we have suspects year-in-year-out appearing in court and matter continually adjourned.

“It does not serve as a deterrent to them and even most of them kept in Police cells are more comfortable there. So, I think to address the level of kidnapping in the country, a law should be passed.”

The IG added that Inspector Idris Musa, who lost his life during a combat with suspected Boko Haram members in Kano State, would be given posthumous award.

He said: “We need to recommend some of our men who are doing well. Musa went to the suspect’s house, knocked at his door. The man came out, went in again and started throwing Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) from inside. One of the IEDs exploded, affected his brain and that is what led to his death.

“He would be given posthumous promotion because he deserves it. It would serve as an encouragement and morale booster to other policemen so that they can put in their best because I am sure that Musa was a very gallant officer.”

To also get accurate data and account of those arrested nationwide, the IG tasked Visiting Round Officers to take daily stock of those in their custody.

He said they should interact with them and know why they were arrested, adding that it would reduce the rate of illegal detention and cases of human  rights abuses.

“When you make arrest, you must inform us at the headquarters so that we can keep tabs.  We have statistics of some of these arrests because it is very embarrassing to see in the newspapers how citizens are harassed unnecessarily.

“Misconduct of our men is very disturbing. We have received several complaints that are mind-bugging. I think it is important to have Visiting Round officers who must go round police each Area Commands and Divisions.”

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