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Anambra police in partnership with kidnappers? HURIWA urges transparent probe by FG

By News Express on 09/01/2015

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Presidency and the National Security Adviser to the President, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to launch a transparent and comprehensive investigation that could unravel the groundswell of allegations that the police establishment in Anambra State may have some form of partnership with kidnappers. They pointed to widespread allegations that the Anambra State Command of the Nigeria Police Force charges between N500,000 and N1million from family of kidnap-victims for the purposes of rescuing the kidnapped, even after payment of ransom to the violent gangs.

The association noted that the solution to kidnapping can only be actualised if the crime is made less profitable to both the evil practitioners of violent kidnapping and rogue elements within the security establishment, especially the Police, which capitalise on the hysteria and apprehension of the family members of kidnapped persons to extort huge payments under different illegal guises. 

In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, and made available to News Express, HURIWA advised the Federal Government and state governments in the South-east to conduct a discreet investigation to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of these disturbing allegations which, if unchecked, could compound the phenomenon of kidnapping in the country by suspected hoodlums, who allegedly conspire with criminal elements in the security community to perpetrate these heinous crimes against humanity.   

The rights group also carpeted the National Assembly for abysmally failing to institutionalise state and local policing institutions through the soon-to-be completed constitutional amendment process. It averred that the failure of the legislature, at the national and sub-national level, to pass the relevant amendment clauses in the extant Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – which would have necessitated the establishment of state police to complement the federal policing institutions – means that Nigeria as a corporate entity is not desirous to resolve the growing threats to the territorial integrity of the nation, posed by insecurity and armed groups.

HURIWA said it was compelled to alert President Goodluck Jonathan about the malpractices going on within the policing institution in the South, with specific reference to the widening frontiers of armed kidnapping, especially in the South-eastern state of Anambra, which has defied all efforts by the current state administration to contain the menace. This, according to the group, includes the demolition of houses belonging to suspected kidnappers resident in the state. Given    deluge of calls it gets from members of the public, HURIWA wants President Jonathan to sanitise the Police and eradicate all rogue elements that have infiltrated the institution; adding that posterity would eternally remain appreciative of this legacy of the President, if achieved.

Condemning as outrageous, criminal and deceitful the alleged demand and receipts of handsome anti-kidnappings ‘service charges’ by the Anambra State Police Command, HURIWA said the fact that the Nigeria Police makes huge profits from the misfortunes of families of kidnapped persons would make the evil practice of armed kidnappings difficult, if not impossible, to be frontally challenged and crushed decisively. 

“The Nigerian Government and the relevant state governments in the South, whereby these kidnappings have remained unresolved and unchecked, should conduct independent investigation: by asking some family members (in camera to avoid recrimination by armed police and their associates in the underworld) of the victims of kidnapping, to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of claims that they usually come under intense pressure by the security operatives to part with their hard earned money, to enable the police and other security agents launch manhunt for these kidnappers.

“We have been inundated by many callers who have complained that they were made to cough out huge payments to the police commands, especially that of Anambra State, ranging from N500,000 to N1 million. These payments are never receipted because they are illegal and these incentives are what motivate these crimes of kidnappings to continue, since men and officers of the Nigerian Police allegedly benefit from the misfortunes of kidnapped Nigerians. The Nigerian state must restore strict discipline within the rank and file as the most strategic way of ending the persistent cases of kidnapping. President Jonathan should, please, help Nigerians to end this debilitating and vicious crime that has cost many lives and precious wealth of law-abiding citizens.”

•Photo shows NSA Sambo Dasuki.

Source News Express

Posted 09/01/2015 8:50:25 PM


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