House Calls for Increased Security around Judicial Officers

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Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

House of Representatives has called on security agencies, especially the Nigerian Police to increase security and protection around judicial officers across the country.

At the plenary wednesday, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Ibrahim Wase, Hon. Luke Onofiok raised a motion of urgent national importance on the need for security agencies to ensure the release of Justice Chioma Nwosu of the Court of Appeal, Benin Judicial Division, who was recently kidnapped.

He expressed worry that judicial officers were becoming preys in the hands of criminals and the security of their lives and that of their families was under serious threat.

He noted that the risks and dangers associated with performance of judicial responsibility on the lives of judicial officers and their families made it imperative for judicial officers to be provided a safe, comfortable and conducive environment to operate.

Onofiok recalled that some weeks ago, Justice Abdul Dogo of Federal High Court in Akure was kidnapped on his way to discharge his official functions and was later released after spending some days in kidnappers’ den.

He said few days after the release of Dogo, Justice Nwosu was kidnapped in brutal circumstances where his orderly was shot dead and the whereabouts of Nwosu is not known till now.

Onofiok added that though ordinary Nigerians have been groaning with the increased kidnapping in the country, he noted that the recent events have shown that privileged Nigerians are not immune either.

In his contribution, Usman Kumu said security challenges could not be tackled without adequately funding the security agencies.
He was of the opinion that when the issue for unemployment is tackled and the security agencies are well funded, it would be easy to tackle the menace.

Also, Yusuf Gangi said there was need to take pragmatic step to stem the scourge, while also stressing the need for the security agencies to revisit their strategy in order to put an end to insecurity issues in the country.

In her views, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said something has to be done beyond the lawmakers raising their voices at the plenary.

She pointed out that the security agencies have to be well equipped, while the strength of their personnel need to be increased, adding that there’s no way the problem would be solved if the government does not think outside the box.

Onyejeocha said there was need to go back to the issue of state police, noting that while the police officers were trying their best, she said, they’re overwhelmed by resources and a lot of other issues.

The House therefore urged the Committee on Police Affairs to interface with the Inspector General of Police on the issue of kidnapping in the country.