John Mayokun Dada is a legal practitioner in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. He shares his view with our Judiciary Correspondent, KAYODE ADEOTI on the recent clamour for the scrap of Police Force in Nigeria among other sundry issues. Excerpts:
One of the prevailing menace currently threatening the peace of the country is abduction to halt this, what yardsticks do you think should be deployed?
I don’t really believe promulgation of any law can stop the prevailing abduction in the country. The problem of Nigeria is not the availability of laws but the implementation of the available ones. In fact, the offences in our criminal laws have not properly utilised. Are we saying there is no law that prohibit abduction, rape, kidnapping, child marriage and the rest? I don’t always blame government for every mischief that happened in our society. Government is just a set of people saddled with responsibility of taking care of the citizens and the factor that will mar its performing this role are security agencies. The head of government in Nigeria is President Muhammadu Buhari, we should know that he can’t be everywhere at the same time to oversee things. He was not at that venue where the children were abducted, there are lots of happenings in the country he won’t be aware of. We should know that maintenance of security in our environment is everyone’s business. I believe that the abductors have been on ground before the mission was carried out and some villagers would have noticed them but failed to hint the appropriate authority of the strange development. But we blame government at all times because we believe wrongly that only it should protect our lives. All hands must be on deck. We are to be on the alert security wise in this country. Our security operatives have compromised greatly, sometimes when you lodged a complaint at a security outfit, an officer will confront you with question like, ‘can we get money for fuel?. This appears so absurd. Imagined a man who was being robbed, he managed to dial an officers’ number, the next thing he heard from the officer was ‘would you provide money for fuel…? This is a person who secretly entered her toilet to make the call.
Also, when government withdrew soldiers from the Dapchi school where over 110 girls were abducted, nobody complained, no one cried out until when the dastard act was executed. Federal Government also delayed in attending to the matter. It continued playing cards on the numbers of girls that were abducted.
Sometimes ago, members of the society were advocating for the scrap of Special Anti Robbery Squard (SARS) but recently, the clamour has moved drastically to the replacement of the Nigeria Police Force over an alleged corruption practices, what is your position on this?
I won’t agree with the scrapping of SARS and I’m not going to subscribe to the replacement of Police Force but rather, I will clamour for an anti corruption outfit. If we start another form of police today, I can be bold to say, it will become like the one scrapped. Some governors are advocating for states police, we are not matured for that yet in our country, because, the so called federal police, some politicians still use them to perpetrate some evil deeds majorly during elections. The state governors will be paying the police, we shouldn’t forget that he who pays the piper calls the tune. To me, all government parastatals must rise up to ensure that corruption has no place in their ministries. This is not about SARS or police. The corruption that is playing out in the police is also in the judiciary and other sectors of government. What we need is overhauling of the entire sectors, not just the police. Even the EFCC is corrupt. There was a time they asked me to bring N100,000 in order to adopt a petition. I’ve never heard of that before.