The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State Barrister Henry Idahagbon has reiterated that the state government will demolish any house or property linked to kidnapping.
According to him, “if you allow your house to be used as a den for kidnappers and you are arrested by the Police, Edo State government has the will to pull down the house with no apologies.
“Edo State government has the political will to do any thing that is good for the generality of Edo people, including demolition of houses and property associated with kidnapping”, he said.
This, he said is because it will be in compliance with the provisions of the law duly enacted by the state House of Assembly.
Citing section 12 of the kidnapping Prohibition (Amendment) law 2013, he said, “the state shall be at liberty to destroy and or do any such thing as it desires appropriate against properties of any person convicted on the offence of kidnapping”, adding that “conviction must come before destruction of property”.
While advising house and property owners to be mindful of the people who reside in their house or property, Idahagbon said, “if you don’t want your property to be destroyed, don’t allow kidnappers to use it as den”.
“Landlord must know about the people they are employing; know their jobs; one cannot see any reason a landlord will give his house to four young men who have flashy cars and non of them is working for multi-nationals; if you are caught for kidnapping, that house may be forfeited to the government”, he said.
He disclosed that several kidnappers have been convicted under the kidnapping prohibition law 2009 and the 2013 amended version, but however decried the situation where kidnapped victims and witness refuse to come to court to testify for fear of incurring the wrath of kidnappers and their accomplices.
According to him, this uncooperative stance tended to frustrate efforts to diligently prosecute kidnappers when they are charged to court.
Idahagbon exonerated the Ministry of Justice from the notion that kidnapping suspects are not prosecuted, saying it is the duty of police to arraign suspects in court while the ministry gives legal opinion to determine the nature of offence for which any accused could be prosecuted