The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau has urged Police chiefs in West Africa to collaborate more in order to tackle transnational crimes within the sub-region.
Dambazau who said the fight against crime required collaborative efforts of countries and security agencies explained that transnational crimes cannot be won by a single country or a security agency.
Speaking in Abuja at the 16th Annual General Assembly of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), Dambazau attributed the proliferation of firearms in the region to the instability in Libya.
He said: “The proliferation of firearms is a big challenge in this sub-region particularly because of the flow of these firearms from unstable countries like Libya. After Gaddafi, Libya went into conflict and it is still in conflict and some of those weapons were trickling down through Mali, Niger and others.
“We are here because it is a regional issue. It is an issue that has to do either trans-border criminal activities, smuggling and terrorism. A country or a security agency cannot deal with these crimes on its own. This is the reason why we have come together as a region to assess the situation and deal with it accordingly.”
He also said there was need for collaboration and information sharing amongst security agencies in the region.
Police Chiefs in the sub-region have also asked the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) to upgrade it to a directorate position.
The security chiefs under the aegis of WAPCCO lamented that its current structure has made it difficult for it to perform its roles optimally.
The Chairman of WAPCCO and the Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Mohammed Adamu said constant meeting would avail the security chiefs opportunity to tackle proliferation of firearms, terrorism, kidnapping and other forms of crime within the region.
Adamu also noted that the inability of the Committee to meet in the last five years has restrained it from tackling some of the security challenges witnessed in the region.
On some of the challenges confronting the region, he said: “We are having security challenges in the whole of West African sub-region and there is need for Police chiefs and other heads of other security agencies to come together to see how we can bring down the level of crime within the sub-region.
“If you look at the 15 countries in the West African sub-region, you will see that they have one challenge or the other. We know that in Nigeria, we have challenges that involve kidnapping and we know that arms and ammunition are coming from outside the country but within the region. There is need to stop the influx of arms and ammunition within the country.”
On the porous nature of the borders, he said security agencies during the meeting will see how to fortify the borders in order to prevent infiltration by criminals.
On it being upgraded to directorate position, the IG said: “I respectfully submit without pre-empting your minds that it will not be difficult to come to the inevitable conclusion that the WAPCCO as currently situated within the border structure of ECOWAS is inhibiting the ability of the body to optimally attain its mandate.
“It is my humble suggestion that a review of the status of WAPCCO within the ECOWAS secretariat has become evidently necessary. Consequently, it is suggested that WAPCCO be upgraded to a Directorate in ECOWAS.
“This will guarantee the regularity of WAPCCO’s thereby enhancing the dynamism and effectiveness of the Committee.”
On whether the inability of the Committee to meet in the past five years had connection with some of the security challenges witnessed in the region, Adamu said: “The last edition of this meeting was held as far back as 2014. This gap has impacted on the ability of member countries to constantly and effectively review the security situation in the region and proffer solutions.
“I would not link lack of the meeting to the security challenges but if we have had the meetings, at least, we would have checkmated some of the challenges we are seeing.
“We would have organised joint operation to prevent them but now that we are meeting, we will make sure that we deal with the issues.”
Presidency confirms Mohammed as IGP
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursady confirmed Adamu Mohammed as the new Inspector General of police.
Mohammed’s confirmation was announced at the police council meeting which was presided over by Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja.
The IGP was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15. He took over from former IGP, Ibrahim Idris who retired from service.
We’ll Treat Anyone Associated With IPOB As A Terrorist – Abia CP
The Abia State Police Command has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against any activity capable of truncating the peace and safety of the residents.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ene Okon, gave the warning in an interview on Channels Television.
He said that anyone or group of persons associated with IPOB will be termed as a terrorist and dealt with severely.
“The Nigeria Police Force In Abia will treat any person associated with IPOB as a terrorist and such a person or group of persons will be dealt with according to the law”.
The commissioner’s comment comes in reaction to the sit-at-home-order issued by the proscribed movement, scheduled to come into effect on May 30, 2019.
He noted that security personnel have been put in strategic places, thereby assuring residents to go about their activities without fear.
“I am assuring the good people of Abia to disregard the illegal order and go about their normal businesses as there is every assurance of protection of lives and properties”, he added.
EFCC arrests Kwara Assembly clerk over alleged N400m severance pay
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating alleged illegal payment of about N400 million to some members of the Kwara state House of Assembly, it was gathered.
Accordingly, the anti-graft body is quizzing Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Gold and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai over the alleged payment.
EFCC source maintained that the payment did not follow due process.
It was gathered that all the 24 lawmakers were two weeks ago paid the sum of N400 million severance package, when their tenure is yet to expire.
The petitioner said even though the lawmakers and members of the state executive council are entitled to severance package, it is the next administration that is supposed to pay the money, a source at the EFCC has said.
“More worrisome is the issue of furniture allowance running to hundreds of millions of naira according to the petitioner which they wanted it pay along with severance package,” the petitioner added.
Speaker of the Assembly Dr Ali Ahmed had in a letter with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, confirmed that the lawmakers are entitled to severance package at the end of their tenure on June 7th this year.
The letter reads that “in accordance with the provisions of the revenue mobilization, allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) honourable members are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their tenure of office.”
The clerk of the house, Halimat Jummai Kperogi confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance package.
She was said to have told the operatives of the EFCC that Governor Ahmed approved the payment of the package.
Kperogi said “in a meeting of the principal officers of the Kwara House of Assembly wherein I was scheduled to be the secretary, held on May 8th, 2019, issue of severance gratuity to the honourable members was raised, the principal officers were informed that the state government has approved the payment of the severance gratuity.”
“At the meeting, I informed the house that the governor had approved the payment. I added that members were expected to be paid after the expiration of their tenure of office. The house debated it and they overruled me.”
Alhaji Gold on the other hand wrote and sought for the approval of the severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the state executive council.
Gold, in a letter to the governor dated May 8th, 2019 said “your Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara state remuneration of political and public office holders laws, certain category of political and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon
successful completion of tenure.”
Alhaji Gold said that while the lawmakers had received their monies, members of the state executive council are yet to receive their gratuity.