From Gyang Bere, Jos
Former Member of the House of Representatives and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barrister Edward Pwajok has urged Federal Government to deploy intelligent gathering and new securit techniques in combating bandits and kidnappers in the country.
He expressed serious concerns over the direction the country is moving towards following the persistent abduction of school children by suspected kidnappers in the North.
Pwajok, disclosed this on Friday in reaction to the abduction of school school children and called on Federal Government to strengthen the security architecture in the country.
“To me, we have to put the cart before the horse. That is to say, let us strengthen our intelligence gathering mechanism, let us strengthen our crime fighting mechanism. You and I know what is happening in today’s Nigeria, the Minister of defense said everybody should go and defend himself.
“The implication of that is that government security has failed, if the security has failed and you are now coming with a death sentence for kidnappers, that shows that we are at the mercy of kidnappers, it is only God that can save Nigerians.
” For me, the number one thing that we ought to be doing is not just strengthening or tightening the punishment, we need to strengthen intelligence gathering in Nigeria, by doing this you will be able to know who the kidnappers are.
“For example, if you go to beer parlours, brothels and super markets, you will see those who ordinarily have no visible means of income or livelihood but they spend outrageous amounts of money. That should raise some suspicion in the security agencies. They should be able to investigate that this person is spending beyond his income, where is he getting his money from.
“We have had that kind of information before on account of kidnappers because the kidnappers when they kidnap their victims and collect ransom, they spend the money either in beer parlours, brothels and super market by spending profligately, some of them even talk freely when they get drunk, that will enable us get information.”
He explained that the pronouncement of death sentence by some Governors on Kidnappers without putting in place adequate machinery to ensure arrest, prosecution and sentencing will not check the menace.
“We should ask the government and particularly the security agencies and the police, how many kidnap suspects they have, that is those suspected of being kidnappers? How many have they prosecuted, how many have been convicted? From there you go to the Ministry of Justice and find out how many suspected kidnappers they are prosecuting in various Courts, and how many they have been able to convict.
“I am starting from that angle because I just read a report that a US government’s agency found out that over 8600 Nigerians were killed during violent attacks last year. Now, how many persons are standing trial on account of those attacks.
“So, we need to be scientific in our approach, that is why i am saying that the media has a role to play, we need to know whether they have been able to identify the kidnappers, whether they are with the Police, whether they are in prison or they are at large. If we just say let us slam death sentence on kidnappers, how many kidnappers are now standing trial.
“It may even be that some people are playing to the Gallery, because if you don’t have persons that are standing trial, so it is a cosmetic pronouncement, at the end of the day nobody will be convicted and nobody will be executed.”