Crime suspects handed over to the police are being released – Naval chief

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral, Ibok-Ete Ibas, on Wednesday accused the police of setting free, crime suspects who are handed over to them for further investigations.

He lamented that these suspects keep repeating the crimes for which they were initially arrested, after their release.

Ibas, said this when the acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday at the Nigerian Navy headquarters, Abuja.

He admonished the police to diligently prosecute crime suspects handed over to them to ensure a safer environment.

The CNS stated that many of the suspects were found at crime scenes again by naval personnel.

He said the Navy had always supported the Nigeria Police Force, adding that a number of policemen were recently trained in basic maritime operations by the navy.

He noted that the service also handed over marine vessels involved in illegal oil bunkering to the Force.

The CNS said, “The navy has handed over to the police arrested persons who are involved in maritime crimes. We are hoping that most of the suspects that were handed over to police, that they would be prosecuted so as to serve as deterrent to would-be offenders.

“I want to observe areas where we have concerns. At some levels, we have had some instances where criminal cases which were handed over to the police have been muddled up, not properly handled, and at the end of the day, such criminals find their way back to the same operational areas where they were arrested.

“We want the suspects to be diligently prosecuted for a safer environment. Four of my men were kidnapped and we, on our own, rescued them and arrested the kidnappers, so we need to work together and collaborate in that area. If we are able to work closely, we can nip crime in the bud.”

In his response, Idris said the police could not be blamed for the delay in prosecution of criminal cases.

He said the Force was not in control of legal proceedings, but the judiciary.

He stated that the police and the navy must work together, adding that the police would like to deploy more personnel in the Niger Delta for joint operations with naval personnel on their mobile flow stations.

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