The Nigeria Police has said it had arrested more than 1,000 kidnapping and armed robbery suspects.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, disclosed this during a public lecture titled, ‘Providing strategic solutions to emergent security challenges, the essentials of synergy among security agencies and the civil populace’, that was held recently in Lagos State.
In his remarks, the police boss pointed out that his men had been successful in preventing and detecting crime based on the number of kidnapping and armed robbery suspects arrested.
“Heinous crimes, especially kidnapping and armed robbery are being detected with great success. More than 1,000 kidnapping and armed robbery suspects have been arrested; over 270 of them were apprehended in July. Many of the kidnappers are facing trial across the country,” Idris said.
He added that some of the suspects were killed during exchange of gunfire with policemen.
“You’re aware of the killing of the notorious kidnapper, Henry Chibueze, aka Vampire, in Imo State, during a shoot-out with the police. You will also remember the jubilation that followed the arrest of Chukwudi Onuamadike, aka Evans, in Lagos, recently. Efforts are made daily to arrest other suspected kidnappers and bandits across the country,” Idris said.
He attributed the success of the police to the collaboration with other security agencies.
“It is true that the police have done well since my assumption of office. But, we did not do it alone. There has to be synergy among the military, other security agencies and the public to deal with the challenges of security in the country. This synergy has worked in many states like Benue, Kaduna, the North-East, Kano, Lagos, and the South-East,” Idris stated.
He reassured Nigerians that the police would continue to review the synergy with a view to achieving better performance.
The guest speaker, a Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Etannibi Alemika, pointed out that despite the efforts of the government and police leadership, the “performance and conduct of a significant proportion of members of the Nigeria Police Force are often described as unsatisfactory.”
He linked the ineffectiveness of the police to the absence of “many of the prerequisite conditions needed for efficient performance.”
Alemika called for the review of constitutional and statutory provisions to empower local participation in policing, as well as provide adequate funding for training, welfare and equipment.
“However, the effectiveness of police and other security and criminal justice systems will not provide lasting solutions if attention is not paid to the transformation of the political, economic, social and ethno-religious structures and relations that breed crime and criminals in the country,” the security expert said.
He also linked the security challenge in Lagos to being the most populous state in the country and host to many “industrial, commercial, financial, media and cultural enterprises.”
While delivering his goodwill message during the lecture, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, admitted that Nigerians have been faced with security challenges in recent times.
The governor noted that if the security agencies and members of the public collaborate more on intelligence sharing, crime rate would reduce.
Ambode added that the spate of crime in the state led to the creation of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps.
The governor expressed worry over the capacity of the police to provide adequate security in the state, urging residents to support the agency.
“It is common knowledge that the numerical strength of the Nigeria Police as of today falls short of the minimum requirement relative to our population. For instance, Lagos State, with a population of over 22 million people, has less than 30,000 police officers and men.”