The much-vilified Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has something to crow about after consistently being in the news for its inability to rein in rampaging criminals across the country. The Force has the right to celebrate the recent exploits of its men in tracking and nabbing Chukwudubem George Onwuamadike, popularly known as “Evans”, the leader of a highly- organised syndicate responsible for the kidnap of prominent Nigerians across the country.
“Evans” was recently paraded before journalists by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, alongside six members of his gang. According to Moshood, the suspected kidnap kingpin who had evaded arrest for a long time, was eventually arrested at his Magodo Estate home in Lagos after an intense gun battle between his gang and special detachments of the Nigeria Police Force.
The significance of Evans arrest is underlined by the relief that swept through the populace once the mission was accomplished. Evans is, indeed, a big catch, going by his alleged antecedents, especially considering the fact that he is wanted in Edo, Anambra and Lagos states for being the suspected brain behind most of the high-profile kidnappings there with the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, placing a N30 million bounty on his head.
It is also noteworthy that earlier in March this year, the IGP had in response to the spate of kidnappings and other violent crimes in Imo and other South Eastern states, deployed special Police detachment to these states. And working under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Police Command, the police team swooped on the hideout of another dreaded kidnapper and armed robbery kingpin, the late Henry Chibueze alias “Vampire” and his gang. Vampire died during the ensuing gun battle with the police.
We commend the Police for a job well done in putting these suspected criminal warlords out of business. Also deserving of praise are those who supported Police efforts in neutralising these kidnap gangs.
But the war against kidnappers and abductor is far from being won. Many victims, particularly school children abducted by criminal gangs are still waiting to be rescued. Efforts should be redoubled to secure their release as soon as possible. We also urge the Police and other security agencies to unmask any law enforcement officer who might have colluded with criminals to deprive Nigerians of their liberty and bring them to book. Evans and people like him could not reign for long without some insider protection in the law enforcement community.
We also call for his diligent prosecution to serve the course of justice.