Tuesday, 6 January 2015

HURIWA Seeks Probe Into Security Agents’ Alleged Role In Kidnappings

Police IG - Abba
Non-Governmental Organisation –Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Presidency and the National Security Adviser to the President, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to do a comprehensive investigation of allegations that officers in Anambra State Police Command connive with kidnappers by charging between N500,000 and N1 million from family members of victims of armed kidnappings to rescue them, even after payment of ransom to the gangs.

HURIWA said the solution to the menace of kidnappings would be found only if the crime is made less profitable to both the kidnappers and the security agents who it alleged capitalise on the apprehension of the family members of victims to extort huge payments under different illegal guises. 

The association said it was compelled to alert President Goodluck Jonathan about the malpractices going on within security agents in southern Nigeria with specific reference to armed kidnappings in Anambra. 

Condemning as outrageous, criminal and deceitful the alleged demand and receipts of handsome anti-kidnapping ‘service charges’ by the security agents, the rights group said this practice would make the evil practice of armed kidnappings difficult if not impossible to challenge and crush decisively.

HURIWA, in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf advised the Federal Government and the relevant state governments in the South East to conduct a discreet investigation to ascertain the veracity of these allegations.   

“The Federal Government and the relevant state governments should conduct independent investigation by asking some family members of the victims to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of the claims that they usually come under intense pressure from the security operatives to part with money to enable the security agents search for the kidnappers. We have been inundated by many callers who complained that they were made to pay amounts ranging from N500,000 to N1 million.”

According to HURIWA, these payments are never receipted because they are illegal and these incentives are what motivate kidnappings to continue since the security agencies allegedly benefit from the misfortunes of kidnapped Nigerians. The Nigerian state must restore strict discipline within the ranks and file as the most strategic way of ending the persistent cases of kidnappings. President Jonathan should please help Nigerians to end this vicious crime that has cost the lives of law abiding citizens.

Guardian Newspaper

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