By Christopher Oji
Inspector-general of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has attributed the arrest of Chukwujeme Onwamadike, the suspected kidnapper popularly known as Evans, to information sharing and intelligence cooperation among police services in West Africa.
The IGP, who spoke in Accra, Ghana, while delivering a lecture, “The Role of Nigeria Police in National Security and It’s Contribution in West Africa,” during the on-going West Africa International Security Conference on Wednesday, said: “Information sharing is crucial to tackling the menace of trans-border crimes in West Africa; it is through such exchange that we were able to nab a Ghanaian/Nigerian kidnapper two weeks ago, after evading arrest for many years.”
Idris said: “For several years, Evans terrorised Nigerians and nationals of many countries across West Africa. Efforts to apprehend him did not yield the desired results until we spread our search net wider.”
The police chief, who solicited closer ties among security agencies in the sub-region, emphasised the need to improve the method of monitoring and surveillance, particularly among border and coastal police units.
Idris called for improved communication capabilities among intelligence-gathering outfits in West Africa and solicited mutual support to block loopholes usually exploited by criminals.
He said the Nigeria Police had 300,000 personnel in 127 area commands and 5,303 divisions, adding that the force had consistently contributed to stability and peace in ECOWAS nations and under UN mandates.
Said he: “The Nigeria Police trained 250 Liberian police personnel in 2005 and have consistently offered training slots to police officers from Gambia and Sierra Leone at the Police Staff College, Jos, and the Police Academy, Wudil.
“We also trained 100 police officers from the Republic of Niger on mobile police combat in 1998. At the end of the training, Nigeria donated trucks, riot equipment and tear gas to the Nigerien government.”