Paul Obi in Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, wednesday attributed the arrest of Chukwujeme Onwamadike, the suspected kidnapper popularly known as Evans, to information sharing and intelligence cooperation between Interpol and police services in West Africa.
Idris stated this in Accra, Ghana, in a paper titled: â€˜The role of Nigeria Police in national security and its contributions in West Africaâ€™, delivered at an ongoing West African International Security conference.
He explained that â€œinformation 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.
â€œFor 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.â€
The IG, 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 called for mutual support to plug loopholes usually exploited by criminals.
He said the Nigeria Police Force had 300,000 personnel in 127 area commands and 5,303 divisions, adding that the force had consistently contributed to stability and peace in Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) and nations under United Nations mandates.
â€œThe Nigeria Police Force trained 250 Liberian Police personnel in 2005 and has consistently offered training slots to police officers from Gambia and Sierra Leone at the Police Staff College in Jos and the Police Academy, Wudil.
â€œWe 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 smoke to the Nigerien government,â€ he said.
Idris stated that the Nigeria police also helped to stabilise Guinea Bissau in 2012 when the military intervened in its leadership and truncated democracy. â€œOur police personnel remained there until democracy was restored in 2014,â€ he stated.
The IG expressed Nigeriaâ€™s readiness to consistently cooperate with police formations in other countries to track down criminals, pointing out that such mutual cooperation had become even more necessary as technology had reduced the world to a global village.