Kwara money stolen under ransom payment claims – Govt

Gov. Rahman AbdulRasaq

Kwara funds are now siphoned under the guise of paying ransom to secure the release of kidnapped victims, the state attorney general and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, has alleged.

“It has become a veritable source through which state funds are siphoned under the pretext that the demands of the kidnappers must be met to save the lives of the victims of the crime,” Mr Jawondo said on Monday.

He spoke at the commencement of the 2021/2022 new legal year, valedictory court session for retiring judges, presentation of newly appointed judges of the Kwara State High Court, and unveiling of the new High Court civil procedure rules in Ilorin.

The commissioner lamented the rising insecurity in the country, noting that kidnapping has become a lucrative business with “the active connivance of unscrupulous persons.”

Mr Jawondo stated that the insecurity across the country is now more than challenging, just as he criticised the slow process of dispensing justice in Nigeria.

“I keep wondering why the kidnapping cases are taking much time to determine. Honestly, the fact that people who engage in such heinous acts in full view of the law justify the call for the complete overhaul of our criminal justice system, particularly the aspect that deals with the apprehension of criminals, prompt investigation of cases, and quick trial.

“I hold the view and with supreme confidence that now is the time to reconsider/review the obsolete ‘presumption of innocence’ of defendants with respect to some crimes threatening the corporate existence of us as human beings and our right to live in peace. I rest my case, sirs,” he said.

The attorney general further enjoined judges to address the issues of delay and embrace the technological developments in judicial processes.

“Many wouldn’t have imagined it possible to address My Lords from the comfort of their offices and rooms, but we now have it even before the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

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