Enugu – Enugu State Government has urged neighbourhood watches to always hand over suspects arrested in the state to the police for interrogation and prosecution.
Mr Obinna Mbaeke, the state Commissioner for Capital Development and Poverty Reduction, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday.
The commissioner also urged the vigilance groups to work in close synergy with the police adding that they must remain under the supervision and guidance of Divisional Police Officers in their areas.
“At all times, they must apprehend and hand over any suspect to the police and not to detain any person or operate unauthorised detention camp,’’ he said.
Mbaeke explained that the state government established the neighbourhood watches to complement efforts of the statutorily recognized security agencies as they were closer to the grassroots.
The commissioner, however, urged members of the neighbourhood watch, to display sense of integrity and operate within the ambit of the laws.
He reiterated government commitment towards provision of security agencies with the needed support to make safe haven for its citizens in the state.
While Mbaeke expressed satisfaction with the coordinated operations of the outfit, he however, asked them to work closely with the traditional institution.
“The vigilance members must live up to the task of assisting the government to achieve the set target of security and development at the grassroots in the state.
“Any deviation from the ambit of the law establishing the programme could attract due sanctions against the defaulter from law enforcement agencies without government intervention,’’ he said.