From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Network of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (NOCSON), on Thursday, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, to publish the names and photographs of those who escaped from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) facility in Benin City on New Year’s Day.
Acting president of the group, Ogbidi Emmanuel, gave the ultimatum while addressing reporters on the recent jailbreak in the state.
‘That the Edo State Police Command must within 48 hours publish the names, photographs and information of all the escapees on both local and national prints and electronic media, declaring them wanted.
‘That the police must detain and isolate all officers that were on duty including the senior officers that had dealings with the cell 24 hours before the incident as we cannot rule out their possible contact with the criminals on the run and their identities be made known to the public,’ he said.
Ogbidi alleged that with the recent cell break, the jailbreak at the two Correctional Centres in the state on October 2020, has nothing to do with the #EndSARS protest, therefore, the government should constitute a panel of enquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding it.
He also said with their findings and interaction with the authorities of the police after their visit to the state command, that, it beats their imagination that 10 of the suspects could escape from their facility after which two were later rearrested while eight others are still at large.
He added that the civil rights group will not tolerate such as it puts the citizens of the state at a great security risk.
‘These findings beat the imagination of our network (NOCSON) and remain a bitter pill to swallow neither should we allow Edo people to suffer further insecurity as a result of the actions and inactions of some unpatriotic police officers.
‘While we will not allow this avoidable incident to be swept under the carpet, we wish to indicate our interest and readiness to follow the Investigation to a logical conclusion and ensure that those found culpable are brought to book no matter how highly placed in the force.
‘If criminals can escape from the state command, which is regarded as the most secured police cell in Edo state, therefore suggest to us that there are more revelations to be uncovered as it concerns the security situation in Edo state under the watch of the CP, Mr Johnson Babatunde Kokumo,’ he said.