Reps set up ad-hoc committee to probe alleged release of bandits, kidnappers

• As Deputy Speaker laments dismissal of 2 policemen for rejecting N8m to release robbers

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, set up -member Ad-hoc committee to investigate the allegations bothering on the constant release of bandits and kidnappers arrested and handed over to the Police authorities by communities and other security agencies across the country.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Ahmed Idris Wase, who expressed grave concern over the compromising attitude of police authorities to various insecurity situation, which they alleged frustrate ongoing fight against insecurity.

In his lead debate, the Deputy Speaker alleged that bandits escaping from the far north have found their ways into Wase and looking for a serene place there.

“I have personally made efforts to assist in resolving the insecurity caused by these bandits. I have personally driven to the security office, not as Deputy Speaker to offer help in resolving this and yet nothing has happened.

“I want to say with lots of pain that the security is not helping the situation, while the citizens are doing their best, making efforts to resolve the matter through their vigilante and other operations to protect their communities, the security is not helping out.

“For example, my district head’s wife was kidnapped. The vigilante went as far as Taraba to get those bandits and release the woman. As I speak with you, those bandits have been released by the Police.

“Recently, there was another arrest made of someone who was found to be conspiring with bandits. He made a statement on video which went viral. As I speak, that person has been released.

“The soldiers and Vigilante in my village made arrest and those people have also been released. I am worried that if those arrested are given to the police, they will also be released. This does not stop in Plateau.

“My nephew working in Kaduna was kidnapped and the security traced him to Birnin Gwari and arrest was made and he was rescued. Among those arrested was one of his house help.

“All those arrested have been released. I visited Governor el-Rufai and mentioned this to him and he took it upon himself to intervene. My nephew was later called and told that the case is spoilt because the first information report has been removed from the file.

“A saw a video trending of two policemen who were dismissed from the Service, they came to Nasarawa to arrest some armed robbers, they were offered N8 million to release the robbers, but they refused. The two of them were dismissed for not cooperating. I am concerned about the activities of some of our men in the field.

“We may never solve this problem until drastic action is taken. I cannot imagine the DPO who sets those people free sitting back there. This morning, the Army wanted to take those people out for profiling.

“Security is everybody’s business and we are all contributing to secure what God has given us, but some people are taking us back. Apart from the prayers of my motion, the House need to go after those officers who are not willing to allow peace to reign in our country but bring us bad names.

“We can only give directives and there will be arrest, yet you don’t hear of any conviction even when there has been a parade of those criminals. What happened to them? There is even no attempt to take them to the court of law. So, I think we end to do something and make Nigeria a peaceful place to live in.”

On his part, Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Toby Okechukwu underscored the need for the House to set up an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the release of those arrested by the police.

He said: “A few months back, the House had a summit on security where we presented a number of solutions. Those were born our o experiences. This morning when I see the attack on the people of Wase and the pain they are going through, it reminded me of the situation in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Borno State, Imo State and several other parts of the country.

“For the first time in the history of ur country, you see the six zones of the country under some level of security perdition. Security situation has become an albatross on our neck and we have to take extra measures to deal with it. we may have looked the other way when it was happening in one part of the country. But it is here.

“There has to be an investigation. We appreciate the sacrifice of our men in uniform, but we cannot under any guise allow anybody who is capable in the situation he has talked about.

“You can imagine the Deputy Speaker of this country could not use his office to intervene and had to drop his cap and present this to the parliament of the people. This is what we experience in all parts of the country. A culprit is caught and the following day is released. We need to find out the real issues.

“With the speed of light, we have to amend the constitution to restructure the security architecture of this country. The states have to play some role,” he urged.

While venting her view, Deputy Chief Whip, Hon Nkiruka Onyejeocha, urged the House to ensure that all those found culpable are sanctioned no matter how highly placed.

She said: “While listening to the Deputy Speaker, I was shocked. I understand that I can walk into a police station to complain as an ordinary member, but a Presiding Officer of the House followed up an investigation, some people were caught and released, not once, not twice.

“You are helping to release bandits and you think you are safe? How? We started off on a good note by liaising with Security personnel, we too Security as one of the cardinal issues to be given priority.

“I can tell you that every blessed day, in my constituency, you see killing and kidnapping. Students are killed and it is now everywhere.

“This is a wake-up call that this matter should be investigated. Nobody is above the law and anybody found culpable should be dealt with.

“It is only in Nigeria that people don’t go to jail, until we begin to hold people accountable, these things will not stop. Nigeria is on the verge of extinction.

“We cannot sit back and watch this country extinguished under our watch.

“At no time should we waste our time anymore. People are not going to jail even though we have enough laws to deal with the situation. Across party line, we are joining our voice to say enough is enough,” she noted.

To this end, the House urged the Minister of Defence to initiate a coordinated Joint Security Operation within Wase Federal Constituency and adjoining towns located in Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Nasarawa States, with a view to flush out the bandits and prevent them from escaping to other States.

The House also tasked the Chief of Air Staff in collaboration with the Chief of Army Staff to provide aerial surveillance and support to flush out bandits’ hideouts and camps.

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Reps set up ad-hoc committee to probe alleged release of bandits, kidnappers

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