From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong has reiterated his commitment to sign the death warrants of convicted kidnappers in the state following the untold hardship they have inflicted on innocent people in the state.
He described as unacceptable the release of a kidnapper and a rapist who was caught defiling a two-year-old girl on bail and solicited that the suspect should be rearrested and arraigned.
Lalong stated this on Friday during the swearing-in ceremony of President of Plateau State Customary Court of Appeal and new Judges of the High Court and Customary Court of Appeal, held at the Government House, Jos.
“As governor, I have promised to sign the death warrant in respect of anyone convicted of kidnapping which is giving our people sleepless nights, driving away prospective investors and further impoverishing our people. Many of them are forced to pay ransoms to secure the release of loved ones, which is making people afraid to pursue their legitimate businesses including farming.
“When I met with stakeholders recently, concerns were raised about prosecution of suspects who are arrested for kidnapping. Some of them we understand do not get to be arraigned as and when due and even get released without charge despite evidence tendered to law enforcement agents. That perhaps emboldens the continuous onslaught on the citizens by kidnappers.
“While we are addressing the issue with the police relating to arrest, investigation and prosecution, I want to appeal to our Judges to be very firm in trying such cases when brought before them as kidnapping is fast becoming an industry with no one immune from the menace.”
He pledged to prioritize the welfare of Judges in the state despite the economic hardship posed by COVID-19.
Those sworn-in include President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Sati Patrick Dapit, while the new Judges are, Hon. Justice Naankwat Dawat Shaseet; Buetnaan Mandy Dongban Bassi, (Plateau State High Court); Pauline Nanlep Njar, Edwin Sati Munlang, and Georgina Dashe (Customary Court of Appeal).