Prelate’s abduction: Army denies complicity, experts demands immediate probe

Nigerian troops on Wednesday said Nigerian Methodist Bishop Samuel Kanu-Uche would be affected by allegations that his staff members were involved in his recent abduction.

This is as the Lagos Regional Government and the provincial police order say the security measures in the state have been tightened to reduce any kidnapping attempts to kidnap citizens in the province.

Auntyamebo blog reported that Kanu-Uche, speaking to reporters after the release of the kidnappers on Tuesday, said the leader of the gang that led the program had revealed that Lagos was on their radar.

Kanu-Uche revealed this while accusing the Nigerian army of being involved in his abduction.

But the Army spokesman, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, described the allegations as “serious”.

He said, “The suggestion that the soldiers were involved in the abduction is not entirely based on any findings of the investigation and therefore no line of kidnapping will be swallowed up. These allegations therefore raise relevant questions that remain unanswered.

“Given the insecurity in the region, the question is whether the matter has been reported to the area’s security department? Has the Methodist Church trusted the NA in negotiating a ransom with the kidnappers? No official complaint was received by the unit.

“The most worrying thing is that there were allegations that the fine was paid in less than 24 hours. Was the ransom paid by the military? These are questions that need to be answered.

“Moreso, a member of the NA, has never received consideration from the Prerelate or the Methodist Church.

Given our professionalism and total tolerance for any misconduct in the Nigerian Armed Forces, we will take this serious allegations seriously and approach the Prerelate and the Methodist church to uncover the basis for these allegations. ”

However, in separate interviews with The Newsmen, security experts identified the co-operation of security personnel with criminal structures as one of the reasons why insecurity persists in the country.

Former Director of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, recalled that at the time of his abduction, four of his captives were serving in the military.

He urged security forces to look inside and remove the evil eggs so that they could win the war on insecurity.

Ejiofor said, “You have never heard of it. I have said many times since the abduction that security agencies have to look inside to catch bad eggs. Personally, four of my 12 captives were serving in the military. It’s not new to me.

“Also if you look at the accuracy of the shooters so some will start to doubt that they are just criminals. Society is bad and people try to live by all means. If you are fighting a war, the people involved know what is happening and use it to fight against the soldiers.

“Everyone who has been through this will tell you that there are bad eggs in the security services involved. That is why we do not win the war. ”

Another security expert, Timothy Avele, said the allegations required a thorough investigation.

He said, “I would not say that he (the Bishop) is a liar but that criminals would be operating near the military checkpoint as part of their deception. You know people usually feel comfortable when they meet with road safety officers.

“But that is always a big mistake compared to terrorists because terrorists take advantage. But this requires a thorough intelligence investigation. “

Some Nigerian Armed Forces personnel have, in the past, been prosecuted or detained for allegedly engaging in criminal activities.

On May 13, 2022, at least three soldiers were arrested in connection with the terrorist attacks in Zamfara state.

Also, a Nigerian Army weapons trainer, Jibrin Mohammed, was arrested in Yobe on suspicion of encountering a terrorist before committing suicide on April 28.

In Lagos, police assured residents of safety

Meanwhile, in response, Lagos Regional Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotoso told Newsmen on Wednesday that officials led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu put health and property safety first in the government, adding that citizens should not be intimidated.

Omotoso said, “We have taken steps to equip law enforcement agencies with their well-being; recruiting people and handing them over to the police to train and help strengthen our neighborhood watch so that we can have intelligence reports from lower levels.

“The president has come to Lagos with the governor, to provide legal services. Items used include trucks, bulletproof vests, helmets and many other items. After that, they found too many cars that could not move at any time.

“Therefore, the Lagos Regional Government is leaving nothing to ensure that the state is well protected. Also, all of these things will be done better if we complete our smart city project with fiber optic cable which we place about 6000km in the province.

“The first phase of the 3000km is almost ready and by the time we have that, we will have cameras everywhere and Lagos will be ready to ensure that no one can hide and commit any crime in any part of the country.”

Omotoso also said the government had strengthened water safety by equipping the Marine Corps with the Lagos State Waterways Agency, among others.

“I can assure you that security agencies and governments are doing a lot to ensure that challenges in some parts of Nigeria do not happen in Lagos. The people of Lagosians should not be shocked by such a statement made by anyone, ”he said.

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