Two security experts have reacted to the killing of Benue’s most wanted criminal, Terwase Akwaza, also known as ‘Gana’, by the military on Tuesday.
The experts, Ben Okezie and Kabir Adamu, shared their thoughts in an interview with TheWhistler .
While Okezie said that the military acted well by killing the criminal, Adamu held the view that he should not have been extra-judicially killed, but arrested and tried in a competent court of law.
Gana was killed on Tuesday on his way to the Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, when the government convoy he was travelling in was intercepted by the military.
He was on his way to Makurdi for the amnesty granted him and other militias by the state government.
He and 172 other militia boys had earlier surrendered to traditional rulers, priests, and local government officials in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state.
According to Okezie, Gana must have something that warranted his being killed by the military, adding that the security forces should be commended for their action.
He said: “It depends on how the killing was done because I have not received the details of what happened, I got just snippets.
“Kingpins of any criminal gang once he comes in contact with security agencies, there is always going to be a bloodbath because there must always be an exchange. So because of that we don’t know whether there was a clash.
“A terrorist, an armed robber, whether he’s with a gun or not, he can disarm a security personnel who is a little bit careless. So they’re just like a Lion, you did not meet him in his den, he can still be dangerous. So also criminals, they can still be dangerous whether with a gun or not. A criminal must have gotten a lot of training, he can disarm or kill anybody with bare hands. So he doesn’t need to be armed before he can unleash terror on anybody. Moreover, you don’t need to carry guns. They’re other gadgets you carry on your body and use clothes to cover and you can easily bring them out to use to attack people.
“If he was killed then he must have done something that warranted him being killed. Whether he has surrendered. Forget it, he can surrender just like a cameleon and use that to come and understudy the security network of the government and then use same against the government. They can do anything.
“We should not get carried away that he has given up his arms. No, it’s not done like that. We should be thankful to our security that we have minus one.”
For Kabir Adamu, however, he said there was lack of coordination between the federal and state governments in the implementation of security architecture and strategy in the country, which might have resulted to what led to the killing of the criminal.
Adamu said: “There are two accounts to the reports we heard. But three things are clear to me. One of them is what we have been speaking about. The lack of coordination between the federal and state governments in the implementation of security architecture and strategy in the country.
“Now, there are some facts that are obvious and one of it is that the deceased was a wanted person. A competent court of jurisdiction had declared him wanted and a bounty had been placed on his head for N10million. Now at what point did the governor commute that federal injunction on him. Does the governor have the power to commute such a federal statement? I really doubt.”
He added: “Two, we were told that an amnesty was organised? Did the governor involve the federal agencies in that amnesty? Now, if he did, was it a case of involving the police or military and other agencies were not aware?
“The third thing I want to talk about is the extra-judicial killing. Now, in no circumstance should an extra-judicial killing be allowed. Now if they claim they went to arrest him and he resisted arrest, there are certain ways, for instance, shoot his legs or his arms, immobilise him, because he’s actually a prized asset. You can imagine the amount of information that can be extracted from him if he was arrested. So extra-judicial killing should not in any way be encouraged. In this instance, it is extra-judicial killing. The military does not have the right to kill him. He should have been arrested, presented before a competent court of law. If the court finds him guilty, then they can penalise him.”
The security expert also called for the setting up of a commission of inquiry to unravel what actually transpired.
He noted: “Given the circumstances, I would strongly recommend the constitution of a enquiry body, a judicial enquiry body to find out what really happened and let it be a lesson for us as a country that our democracy can grow.
“We saw what happened in 2009 when Mohammed Yusuf was arrested. He was extra-judicially killed and the result is what we’re suffering till today in the form of Bolo Haram. So I believe we need to do an investigation. Look seriously at the reasons for extr-judicial killings in Nigeria and then let that commission of enquiry make that recommendations.”
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