Apparently concerned about the unending activities of the armed bandits in Niger State which have claimed hundreds of lives and rendered thousands of others homeless, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has advocated for a stiffer penalty for armed bandits, kidnappers and their informants.
He said the need for a stiffer penalty for these criminals has become imperative for the war against heinous crimes to be won.
The governor made the call in Minna at the weekend when he swore-in the new Chief Judge of the state, Justice Aisha Lami Bawa Buwari at the Council Chambers at the government house, Minna.
He pointed out that the state and the country have lost both lives and property to armed banditry in recent times, and believed that it was now time to come up with a stiffer penalty to stop this “crime against humanity.”
According to him, “we lost people on daily bases due to banditry in the state and all over the country. My prayer is that the judiciary and the legislature will come up with a stiffer penalty for bandits and kidnappers, especially the informants.
“It has come to our notice that most of these heinous crimes are being committed in conjunction with members of the communities who act as their informants and, in most cases, they are the ones that invite the bandits.
“So we are seriously and strongly suggesting that both the kidnappers, the bandits and the informants should have the same punishment. Without the informants, banditry will not strive, in my own opinion the informants are more dangerous,” he added.
Governor Bello maintained that “these people have not only deprived the people of their means of livelihood, but they have also deprived the people of their precious lives,” stressing that “the time has come for us to have a stiffer measure against these people.”
He, therefore, promised to seek the cooperation of the State House of Assembly in order to come up with the necessary step to take, saying that “I hope and pray that the judiciary will execute whatever amendments that are being made to the existing law. This kidnapping and armed banditry must be stopped for the overall interest of society.”
Speaking shortly after being sworn-in, the new Chief Judge, Justice Aisha Lami Bawa Bwari promised a total reform in the judicial system in the state, especially the criminal justice, admitting that “most of our laws are obsolete.”