BORNO State Governor, Kashim Shettima has asked for the immediate prosecution of those arrested for diversion of bags of rice meant for internally displaced persons in the state. The directive was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the governor, Mallam Isa Gusau.
In the statement, the governor said the commissioner of police in the state should expedite action on the prosecution of some officials allegedly involved in the diversion of 50 bags of rice meant for internally displaced persons. He said anyone found guilty should be sentenced to jail by the law court.
The Governor’s directive follows report that hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons on Tuesday morning arrested an official of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency over alleged theft of food items meant for displaced persons at the Bakassi IDP camp. Four officials were said to have been subsequently arrested by the police after IDPs held them.
The governor was said to be very bitter about the development and vowed to ensure anyone found wanting amongst those arrested is sentenced to years in prison. The alleged stolen food items, the press statement, noted were bought by the Borno State Government for the feeding of IDPs in the month of December.
The press statement claimed that the Borno State Government and the World Food Programme are responsible for the feeding IDPs since the beginning of December, 2016, pending supplies from NEMA.
The statement further read: “Governor Shettima approved funds for the food stuff at the IDPs camp and he is deeply pained by this development. The Governor regards any attempt to divert food meant for IDPs as a crime against humanity which must not go unpunished. The Governor has promptly asked the Commissioner of Police in Borno State to expedite action that should ensure the prosecution of anyone arrested whether officials or anybody at all, in order to secure conviction by the court.
“The Governor has told the Commissioner of Police not to entertain any plea from any quarter at all. The Governor would like the court sentence, if secured at the court, to serve as warning to whoever might be engaged in shortchanging citizens who live in trauma having lost their loved ones, means of livelihood and their homes as a result of violent attacks by insurgents.
“The Governor assures internally displaced persons that his administration will continue to take measures that would enhance their welfare. As part of these measures, the Bakassi IDP camp where the incident was said to have occurred, has between 3 to 4 Divisional Police Officers of the respective local government areas living at the camp. The idea of having D.P.Os and policemen living at IDP camps was part of measures introduced by Governor Shettima since 2014 in order to maximize security of lives and property as well as the protection of human rights across all IDPs camps and other parts of Borno State” the statement said.
The media had reported that one official in collaboration with three Internally Displaced Persons were intercepted while allegedly loading fifty bags of 50 kilogrammes sacks of rice into a waiting truck. – Punch
— Dec 14, 2016 @ 18:00 GMT