Arrest of Hamisu Wadume and presidential investigation
Sir: The arrest of millionaire kidnapping kingpin and his video broadcast, which was released by the police, certain pertinent questions have become necessary in the interest of inter-agency cooperation.
It is no longer a secret that an all-encompassing Presidential Investigation Committee set up by the Defence Headquarters is currently investigating the allegations of the suspect’s escape.
But the pertinent question begging for urgent answer is why the Police decided to come out with a statement that directly accused the Army of wrong doing before the presidential panel, which is almost concluding investigation?
What could be the rationale for the rush in preempting the panel’s report? Then again, going by the statement from the NPF, why was there little or no mention of the major issue, that is, the crime of kidnapping, which is supposed to be the focus of Alhaji Hamisu Wadume’s arrest? It is pertinent to note that both the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army are federal institutions with constitutional mandates of ensuring peace, security and fighting criminality in all forms.
This writer observed that aside the initial press statement reacting to the NPF and the condolence letter to the IGP by the Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian Army has kept its cool by not issuing any release or granting any media interview since the beginning of the disgraceful incident.
It is, therefore, unprofessional and morally reprehensible for any of the two institutions to resort to unnecessary media trial, sponsoring media attacks and negative commentaries thereby whipping up negative public sentiments against each other.
Similarly, the rearrested criminal, aka, Wadume, should not have been interrogated by the police alone in a matter that both organisations are trading blames with the subsequent confession made only to one party and the same confession released by the police.
As much as Nigerians are happy that the suspect has been re-arrested, there is the tendency that some Nigerians like me would not shy away from wondering if the rush to release such a press statement is prearranged, being definitely prejudicial.
It could also be recalled that the Police, who has from the beginning, accused the army and made it public that the army rescued the kidnapper and aided him to escape, is the same police issuing a statement of exactly the same confession. What interest, self-exultation or exculpation, is being served?
What does the latest confession, which seems like acting a ready-made script, seek to achieve at a time when synergy among security agencies, particularly the armed forces, the police and Paramilitary outfits, is the watchword and high-powered investigation is still ongoing?
There is need to tread cautiously in the interest of national security, peace and collaborative excellence among the various parts of the nation’s security architecture. It is possible that intelligence garnered from the investigative efforts by the joint presidential panel would be of immense benefit to both the Police and Army in their patriotic zeal to be the best they can be in the fight against criminality and insecurity in Nigeria.
Waiting for the panel’s conclusion and findings is the best way to demonstrate the shared concerns of the two sister agencies.
Adeyemi Hamzat, social commentator, wrote from Abuja
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