HURIWA demands decisive action on kidnapping, unconditional release of Sun DMD’s wife

Posted by News Express | 15 September 2015 | 4,333 times

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded the unconditional release of Mrs Toyin Nwosu, wife of Steve Nwosu, the Deputy Managing Director of Sun Group of Newspapers. Mrs. Nwosu was whisked away at about 2am yesterday by armed kidnappers who stormed their residence in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos. 

HURIWA asked for her immediate release in a statement issued this afternoon in Abuja. It also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a powerful Federal Government team made up of tested and trusted criminal legal experts to work in partnership with the hierarchies of the national and state assemblies to harmonise strategic legal frameworks on combating armed kidnapping with a view to making it a federal offence that attracts the death penalty.

The statement signed by HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, condemned the Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Police Force for embarking on blame game on what to call the abduction of Mrs. Nwosu.

HURIWA said it was wrong for the Lagos State Police Command to engage in debating whether it was a case of armed robbery or armed kidnapping rather than activating effective mechanisms for tracking down the suspects.

The rights group said: “We urge the Nigerian Government to constitute an action team made up of few but versatile legal scholars to work in partnership with the hierarchies of the legislature and the judiciary to articulate actionable positions on strategies for amending all relevant criminal laws relating to kidnapping within a time frame of one month with a view to make kidnapping a capital offence punishable by death. It has become very clear that the piecemeal legal approaches by the different states within the federation of Nigeria to tackle armed criminality of kidnapping hasn’t worked therefore demanding that a national mechanism be put in place to make kidnapping a grave offence only punishable with the death penalty. Kidnappers are as bad as terrorists and therefore the harsher the punishment meted out to them the better.

“Government must also investigate the alleged involvement of top police and military officers in the spate of armed kidnapping for ransoms. Why do people pay ransoms continuously and these gangsters are never really caught and decimated except a handful of petty criminals usually fraudulently paraded as armed kidnappers by the Nigeria Police Force? Where are the operatives providing weapons to kidnappers?”

HURIWA demanded the immediate sack of the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Oweseni, for alleged dereliction of duty.

“The Federal Government,” it said, “must declare a national crime emergency on armed kidnapping the same way it has carried out the counter terrorism war so as to save Nigeria from the destructive consequences of armed hoodlums. Government should set up a national joint military/para military anti-kidnapping task force to tackle kidnapping. Armed kidnapping discourages foreign direct investments and therefore would create unemployment and a spiralling economic hardship that would spark off a regime of social disconnect amongst families who would be affected should the economy of Nigeria crumbles as a result of the widening spate of impunity including armed kidnapping.”

•Photo shows Steve Nwosu and his kidnapped wife, Toyin.

Source: News Express

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