Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, has vowed to sign the death warrant for anyone convicted for kidnapping in the state.
Lalong stated this on Friday, when he swore in the substantive president of the Customary Court of Appeal, Bar. Sati Patrick Dapit, and five judges of the State High Court and Customary Court of Appeal at the Government House, Rayfield, Jos.
At the event witnessed by the President Court of Appeal Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, Lalong who described as worrisome the incidences of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state frowned at the situation where suspected kidnappers who are arrested are not prosecuted as and when due and in some cases released without charge.
He said: “This situation perhaps emboldens the continuous onslaught on the citizens by kidnappers. While we are addressing the issue with the police relating to arrest, investigation and prosecution, I want to appeal to our judges to be very firm in trying such cases when brought before them as kidnapping is fast becoming an industry with no one immune from the menace.
“As governor, I have promised to sign the death warrant in respect of anyone convicted of kidnapping which is giving our people sleepless nights, driving away prospective investors and further impoverishing our people. Many of them are forced to pay ransoms to secure the release of loved ones which is making people afraid to pursue their legitimate businesses including farming.”
The governor charged the new judges to be faithful to their oath of office and consider their appointments as a call to serve God and humanity which should make them work faithfully and diligently.
Responding on behalf of the new judges sworn in, the President, Customary Court of appeal Justice Sati Patrick Dapit, said they would do their best to live up to the oath of their office and the ethics of the legal profession.