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FG yet to implement Senate panel’s recommendation on police control

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The Senate Ad hoc Committee on Security Challenges has recommended the control of the Nigeria Police Force by states as a way of addressing insecurity in the country.

The committee also said each state and the Federal Capital Territory should set up special strike squads, including a special weapon and tactics team to go after criminals.

While calling for the restructuring and adequate funding of the police, the committee in its report further recommended that state security councils headed by governors should have operational control of police deployed in zones, states and local governments in terms of budgeting, command and operations.

The report was signed by the Chairman of the committee, Yahaya Abdullahi, 20 others senators and the Clerk, Vivian Njemanze.

Findings by on Monday, however, indicated that the report, which was submitted in March 2020, had yet to be implemented.

The spokesman, Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr Bolaji Kazeem, said he was not aware of the report and promised to find out if the ministry was implementing the recommendations.

The report read in part, “State Security Council should have powers of recruitment, particularly for general duty officers and constables. The council should have integrated mobile strike squads, special weapons and tactics squads and intelligence units under their control for riot control and quelling insurrection before they assume serious dimensions.

“The State Security Council should be overseen by a civilian security structure comprising the governor, zonal AIG, state police commissioner, military commander, Immigration, Customs, correctional service, first class Emirs/Chairman, Emirate councils, paramount traditional leaders, leaders of faith-based organisations, senators, House of Representatives members, state House of Assembly Speaker, representatives of trade unions/business community and any other person deemed to be useful.”

The committee added that similar structures should be established at the area command, local government area and ward levels.

The report stressed the importance of community policing, which it said should be funded from the grants appropriated from the state assemblies and given to each local government area in accordance with the size of the community police formation based on the budget from the local government area.

At the state level, the committee said the responsibility for the police posted to the states should be from the zonal command budget for the state formations, adding that the states could, however, assist with recommendations and duty allowance during operations.

It asked the Federal Government to give grants to the zonal commands, while each state should appropriate funds from its assembly for the zonal commands.

The committee said the National Assembly should amend the Nigeria Police Act of 1945 to reflect the proposed structure in concert with the Presidency, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police, Police Service Commission and the Minister of Police Affairs.

It further stated, “The restructuring (of the police) should be accompanied by the development of a modern police central crime registry, modernisation and amendment of the Evidence Act to admit digital evidence such as DNA, audio and video footage and other forms of forensic evidence; deployment of CCTV cameras, body cameras, bulletproof vests, body armour, surveillance drones, light aircraft and armed helicopters.”

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Boko Haram, ISWAP recruiting child soldiers – Army

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The Nigerian Army said it was studying the video of the Islamic State West Africa Province children fighters executing its personnel.

The video released by the ISWAP, according to the , was published on Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activities.

In the video, a man in the Nigerian Army uniform, who claimed that he was with the army special forces, was shot twice in the head by a boy of about 12.

Shortly after, another soldier, who said he was captured in April 2021, was shot in the head by one of the three masked fighters behind him.

Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that the action of the terrorists had been a long time practice in terrorism across the world.

He said the terrorists were trying to embark on recruitment drive with the video as many of their fighters had surrendered to troops.

Nwachukwu stated, “We are studying the video. However, the action of the terrorists has been a long time practice in terrorism across the globe.

“They have always taken advantage of the vulnerable in society, particularly women and children, to advance their evil cause.

“Recall that the terrorist groups, ISWAP/Boko Haram, have in the past used women and children as suicide bombers. They have also conscripted children and minors, who they engage as child soldiers, and women, who they use as sex slaves.

“Having been depleted by our troops, the imbroglio in their ranks and the massive surrendering of Boko Haram, the terrorists in a desperate move are embarking on a recruitment drive to shore up their strength with child soldiers, who they can easily indoctrinate, manipulate and cheaply manage financially.

“We have raised this alarm before now and have since commenced sensitisation in the North-East to guard against and block their recruitment drive.”

Nwachukwu urged residents of the North-East not to be deceived by the gimmicks of ISWAP terrorists into releasing their children and wards for their evil cause.

He assured them that troops would remain resolute in decisively countering the terrorists.

AP had quoted the Executive Director, SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz, as saying that ISIS “is now more desperate than ever to keep its name in the global discussion…given the fact that it no longer has a physical ‘caliphate’ outside of relatively small bases in different countries.”

The video, she said, “demonstrates the immense focus ISIS is placing on Africa” and puts a “spotlight on Nigeria as one of its strongholds and projecting itself as an adaptive, enduring force to the world.”

The UN children’s agency estimates that globally, more than 93,000 children were recruited and used in conflicts between 2005 and 2020.

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Another girl, 8, kidnapped, killed in Zaria

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna 

Residents of Zaria in Kaduna State have been thrown into mourning following the murder of an 8-year-old Asma’u Shuaibu who was kidnapped and later killed by her abductors a few days ago.

This incident followed the Kano State incident involving little Hanifa Abubakar who was kidnapped and later poisoned to death by her teacher in Kano.

Asmau who was said to have spent 42 days in the custody of her abductors was allegedly kidnapped by one of her neighbours early in December 2021. 

Alhaji Shuaibu Wa’alamu, narrating to newsmen in Zaria at the weekend how his daughter was abducted, said: “My daughter was abducted on the 9th of December, and when she failed to return home, I lodged a formal complaint with the police. 

 «After some days, the abductors began to call my number demanding N15m. But we negotiated and I first gave them N2m.

“They collected the money in Rigasa area of Kaduna. Later, they called me again and demanded another N1, 045m as the only condition to release my daughter. 

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 «I did not argue, I gave the money to them. 

 «However, after paying the ransom as demanded on the 19th of January, they called me to tell me they killed her and switched off the phone. 

 ‹You see, from the initial stage, I was following her abductors and doing their bidding because of the fear of losing her. Now, they have killed her. 

“I know those who abducted her and killed her. They are around us. I have strong evidence. I have told the police. And they are on it. In fact, the suspects have been arrested,” he said.

However, as at the time of filing the report, the police have not confirmed the incident.

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Human trafficking: Edo vigilante rescues 28 victims in Benin

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From Tony Osauzo, Benin

A team of local vigilantes has rescued 28 victims of human trafficking in Benin City, the Edo State capital. 

The state Coordinator, Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network, Oboh Emmanuel Otoide, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the weekend in Benin City.
He said the victims who were between the ages of 13 and 17 years were rescued during a stop-and-search operation by his men.
“The victims were rescued by our men around 2 am on Tuesday along Akpakpava Road in Benin City. Three suspects, including two drivers conveying the victims to their destinations were arrested during the operation and handed over to the Department of State Services for further investigations.

“Our preliminary investigations revealed that the victims were being moved from the South East, enroute Edo State, to the South West of the country,” he said.

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He added that in another operation, officials of the Edo State Community Vigilante Security Network arrested a man who robs people of their personal belongings while pretending to be insane.

“The man who identified himself as Olatunji was arrested around Baptist Church at Ring Road, Benin City and has been handed over to the Nigeria Police Force. Among the items recovered from the suspects include ATM cards belonging to victims of his criminal acts,”‎ Oboh stated.

He disclosed that the group is working assiduously with other security agencies in the state to secure the state.

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