The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on Friday, advocated for the imposition of death sentence or life imprisonment on convicted kidnappers.
The IGP made this known on Friday while speaking at a dialogue session he held with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Abuja.
The discussion was specifically on the case of recently apprehended billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike a.k.a Evans, as the police chief added that the kidnap kingpin should be used to set an example to youths on risk inherent in such criminal venture.
He lamented that Evans “has changed the face of kidnapping in this country”, saying the fact that he collected $1million ransom on six different occasions, was enough to lure some youths into the illegal business.
Therefore, the police boss said there was urgent need to review existing laws on kidnapping with a view to ensuring stiffer punishment for the perpetrators.
Idris further said that a total of 2000 kidnap suspects are currently in police custody, insisting that the least sanction for kidnappers should be life imprisonment.
His words: “We should start looking at punishment and the possibility of establishing special courts to address issues of kidnapping.
“On daily basis we are arresting hundreds of suspects. We should look for a way to review our laws and impose sanctions like we have in some states like Anambra, Lagos, Kano and Imo.
“We need to review those punishments, we should have a time frame for conclusion of trial of suspects”.
“Evans has undoubtedly changed the face of kidnapping in this country, if you see his magnification mansions in Ghana.
“That was why he refused to invest in his own state and preferred to build houses in Ghana and other places.
“This was because he knew his investments would be lost. So the issue of punishment is very important.
“He told his boys not to have landed property in either Anambra or Imo because he was aware the houses will be demolished and the boys ostracised if caught.
“He refused to own any property in his place. You know, in that part of the country, even in churches, relatives of kidnap suspects are avoided and treated as outcast by people.
“You can see why our youths have taken this way to easy life. That is why we have to up the risk. If you engage in kidnapping the punishment should be death or life imprisonment.