The Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Ayodeji Daramola, has called on the police authorities to immediately beef up security at the courts in the wake of arson attacks on courts in some parts of the country.
The judge made the call on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, while receiving the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, in his office.
Apparently worried by last’s week burning down of a high court in Ilesa by hoodlums, and attacks in Imo and Kogi states, the judge called for a synergy between the prisons service and the police for enhanced security especially when hardened criminals were brought to court.
He said the prison officers lacked capacity to effectively secure the prison without the assistance of the police, noting that the cases of jail break were rampant because of poor cooperation between the two agencies.
Mr. Daramola said he was asked by his colleague judges to urge the commissioner to provide better security in courts in the light of attacks on courts in other states.
“We really need police protection. Please help us in this regard. It is not only the police that criminals look at with disdain. They also look at us with disdain as well,” the judge said.
“Things have not been the same between the police and the prison authority since they started carrying arms. The Prison people must allow the police to assist them.”
Mr. Inalegwu, in his response, condemned the attacks on courts, stressing the need for all stakeholders in the security sector and the judicial officers to brainstorm and fashion out security model that could protect courts.
“If the police arrest, they cannot keep suspect for too long. They need the judiciary to prosecute the suspects. So judiciary is not only the hope of the common man, but the hope of the police,” he said.
“When I arrived Ekiti State, I was briefed about the number of conviction that the police has secured. I was very impressed about it your Lordship.
“We usually asked the prison people to alert us when they are taking hardened criminals to the court, but we don’t get to know about it. We have written to the Comptroller of Prison about this.
“We are going to look at the operations of our Judges Protection Unit and do something about it if we discovered that there are issues.”