The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has explained the reason behind the continued detention of an alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans.
According to Idris, the Police were yet to charge Evans to court because they were still trying to collate necessary ‘facts’ so the, ‘suspect would be given a fair trial.’
Idris said the ‘police deserved credit for the arrest,’ saying that the best they could offer Nigerians was to fish out all the criminal elements like Evans.
The IG spoke during a courtesy visit to The Punch Place, headquarters of Punch Nigeria Limited on Thursday.
Responding to a question about kidnapping and killings by a notorious cult called Badoo, Idris said the police were working on improving security in the coastal areas between Lagos and Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, by acquiring more gunboats for patrol.
He said, “We are trying to improve and enhance how we deal with criminality in the coastal areas, not only Lagos, but from here to Port Harcourt and one of our strategic plans is to better equip our marine police.
“We are trying to acquire more gunboats so that we can be very effective and visible in these coastal areas — somebody will build a school in an isolated bush.
“That is why we said when you are looking at criminality, you have to also look at some factors and try to address those factors as a whole and not always point at the police.
“There is a limit to what we can do; if you go and build your house in the bush, we are talking of personnel, you cannot put policemen in every school. If we do that, we are going to have a problem in addressing other issues.
“There are some basic utilities that a school requires — closed-circuit television cameras. Put some things there to fortify the school. If the location is bad, make sure you fortify the school. You can have a security department; hire more security men on the ground. But nobody looks at some of these factors.”
The IG also noted that more attention should be paid to dealing with delay in criminal trials in courts and factors that push youths into crime.
On the issue of personnel; Idris noted that in reality, “the Nigeria Police Force has about 298,000 policemen and women and I agree with you. You know, it is (like that) all over the world, you have to protect the leadership of the country.
“Even in the US, up till date, when President Donald Trump is going anywhere, some roads have to be blocked and you need policemen to do that, you have to deploy the assets you have to protect the leadership because you know they are the symbols of the country. So, it is not only in Nigeria that if a president is going somewhere, you just (don’t) allow him to go like that. You know we had a bitter experience in the past, when (former military ruler) Murtala Muhammed was assassinated. He stopped at a traffic light and was killed.
“It is natural for any country to accord the leadership that level of maximum protection because whether we like it or not, I am not in your position, I have so many enemies and not made by me, but through my people.”