Pilot Law

CURRENT ISSUES: Killings in Nigeria: Govt should recruit more police


Yusuf Olarewaju Aluko is the current Head of Chambers, Saad Y.K. & Co in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. He speaks with JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI on the need to curb incessant killings in some parts of the country among other sundry issues. Excerpts:

What has been the update the judiciary autonomy President Muhammadu Buhari assented to about a month ago…?

One must appreciate the President for looking into the issue of Judiciary autonomy. It has been generating debate in both the lower and upper chambers of National Assembly. Probably because of political undertones, we are unable to realise it on time, but to God be the Glory, it has been signed into law. The issue of autonomy in the judiciary, especially in the state, will go a long way to assist the dispensation of justice, it will also enhances judges capability to do justice to any case they might come across, be it political or other civil cases. Autonomy is that privilege given to an authority of the judiciary to manage it the way they see it best. If the financial strength of the judiciary still lie in the executive, it means, executive have the power to determine what goes on in the judiciary. The development will sanitise the country especially on the issue of corruption we are all yearning to bury.

Going by the convictions of the Taraba and Benue States former Governors, would you subscribe to the notion in some quarters that judiciary is just awakening to it true responsibility?

The two former governors convicted recently further shows that the judiciary are just coming up to take up their duties and they are doing it diligently, it is highly appreciated. This is how it should be, anybody that have grievances should go to court and once court fails in this regards, the state of anarchy becomes inevitable, people will take law into their hands. On the issue of Senator Dino Melaye, court had never remanded him to prison, he was granted bail but it was the police who held him in custody, even the magistrate court at Kogi State only remanded him into police custody. But so far, the judiciary are now doing their work the way it ought to be done, they don’t have any fear of personality, the sector sees everyone as equal and therefore treat issues accordingly.

Some members of the public have said the perpetual killings in some states in Nigeria are being carried out by foreigners who have infiltrated the country…?

There won’t be a straightforward approach to this question because the menace has been on even before this present administration. Some are saying it is political issue, some said it is infiltration from the war countries. I think government should go to the grassroot, call some community or state meetings to identify causes of the problems that have continued. What we were made to believe before was that the crisis was between herdsmen and farmers, but, it is more than that. If these meetings could be done, government will from there be able to make some laws that will make these perpetrators sheath their swords. If it is truly an issue of infiltration, government should ensure those security agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting our borders are up and doing. They should ensure nobody comes into the country illegally and there should be proper documentation of migrants.

What would you say is responsible for ritual killings in Kwara State?

On the issue of ritual killings, poverty is the cause. Majority of those who engage in this venture do it to earn a living. Everybody is trying to earn a living at all cost, in fact, some don’t mind killing their siblings, children for it. The best and the only way this can be curbed is for the government to make job available for the yearning youths. If our youths are busy in one way or the other, it will reduce the ritual killings and improve the standard of living. More so, the police are trying but I think government needs to increase their number so that they will be able to monitor the nooks and crannies of the state. I will also suggest that our courts should give any ritual killing matters accelerated hearing so that people who might still want to indulge in the act can learn. If members of the society see the punishment melted out by court to those found culpable, honestly it will reduce number of those intending…

What is your perception of corruption fighting agencies in Nigeria?

I will like to commend our anti-graft agencies for their works in sanitising the society. As a lawyer, I know so well their efforts. The previous governments we had only been paying lip service, none has performed like this present administration in terms of facing corruption headlong. But we need to know that there is no way the corruption fighting agencies could have had perfect operations, there will still be some flaws maybe in their investigation, maybe they are rushing to prosecute thereby not having enough evidences to present or tender before the court. But, to me, in all, they are trying because people are now having that fear now that EFCC is there to check their activities. The only problem of this country is corruption, people cry everyday because the ways of getting money is not easy, and for someone to now siphon it, it is quite bad. People now have the mind of doing things properly lest the public calls them to give account of their stewardship. A bank officer was telling me recently that people don’t bring hug amount of money to bank again saying they now know that once they bring such money, the bank officer will alert EFCC and by then, trouble could start especially if the source of that amount is not decent. People are now trying to live in accordance with their means.

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