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How IGP Egbetokun Is Boosting Nigeria’s Police Capacity At The International Stage

By Adewole Kehinde

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.”Napoleon Hill

INTERPOL is the only organisation with the mandate and technical infrastructure to share police information globally.

All 196 member countries are connected to the General Secretariat via a secure communications system called I-24/7.

It also allows them to access Interpol databases and services in real time from both central and remote locations.

INTERPOL also coordinates networks of police and experts in different crime areas, who come together through working groups and conferences to share experiences and ideas.

As the Chairman of the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, participated in a high-level meeting of the Regional Police Chiefs Committee Chairmen convened by INTERPOL in France from April 26th to 28th, 2024.

Addressing transnational organised crime is a complex and challenging task that requires collaboration and coordination among multiple stakeholders at local, national, and international levels.

The meeting, attended by senior officials including the President of INTERPOL, Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, aimed to enhance collaboration in addressing transnational organised crime.

During the sessions, the IGP engaged with key Interpol representatives, including the Secretary-General, Dr. Jurgen Stock, and the Executive Director of Police Services, Mr. Stephen Kavenaugh. Additionally, the Vice President of INTERPOL for Africa, AIG Garba Baba Umar (Rtd.), and AIG Stanley Ude (AIG INTERPOL Abuja) were also present.

The discussions focused on leveraging INTERPOL’s extensive resources to combat transnational organised crime, particularly in Nigeria and the broader West African region, such as;

International Cooperation: Countries need to work together through law enforcement agencies, intelligence sharing, and mutual legal assistance to combat transnational organised crime.

Strengthening Legal Frameworks: Enhancing and harmonising legal frameworks at both domestic and international levels can help in prosecuting criminals involved in transnational organised crime.

Disrupting Financial Networks: Cutting off the financial resources of criminal organisations through asset forfeiture, sanctions, and anti-money laundering measures can be an effective strategy.

Enhancing Border Security: Tightening border controls, using technology for surveillance, and improving information sharing among border agencies can help prevent the movement of illicit goods and people.

Building Capacity: Investing in training and capacity building for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges is crucial to effectively combat transnational organised crime.

Addressing Root Causes: Tackling the root causes of organised crime, such as poverty, corruption, and lack of opportunities, can help reduce the vulnerability of communities to criminal exploitation.

Engaging Civil Society: Involving civil society organisations, community leaders, and the private sector in anti-crime efforts can enhance the effectiveness of interventions against transnational organised crime.

IGP Egbetokun noted that the exchange of expertise, experience, and networks between INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police would reflect a concerted approach to addressing criminal activities such as cybercrime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and kidnapping in the African region.

The IGP emphasised the importance of collective efforts in addressing security challenges across borders.

He also expressed the readiness of the Nigeria Police Force to leverage its strengths, partner with other police services, and elaborate on its e-policing capabilities to crack down on all forms of organised crime networks in Nigeria and across its borders.

The high-level meeting in France was attended by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, alongside the President of INTERPOL, Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates, the INTERPOL Vice President for Africa, AIG Garba Baba Umar (Rtd.), and the Secretary-General, Dr. Jurgen Stock, on April 27, 2024, where the IGP discussed key partnerships to tackle transnational organised crime.

Other African leaders who were present at the meeting include chiefs of police from East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa, and top officers at the secretariat of Interpol.

The overall objectives of IGP Egbetokun’s participation at the meeting include:

Enhanced information sharing: Networks between INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police enable quick and efficient sharing of critical information related to international crime, terrorism, human trafficking, and transnational organised crime. This helps both agencies stay informed and respond effectively to emerging threats.

Improved coordination and cooperation: The networks facilitate better coordination and cooperation between INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police in investigating and combating cross-border crimes. This collaboration ensures a more comprehensive approach to tackling criminal activities that transcend national boundaries.

Access to INTERPOL’s global resources: By being part of the INTERPOL network, the Nigeria Police gain access to a wide range of global resources, including databases, tools, training programmes, and expertise. This enhances their capacity to address complex challenges and engage in international law enforcement operations.

Strengthened capacity-building efforts: The networks provide opportunities for capacity-building and training for Nigerian law enforcement officers, enabling them to enhance their skills and knowledge in areas such as cybercrime, counter-terrorism, and human trafficking. This helps in improving the overall effectiveness of the Nigeria Police in addressing evolving security threats.

Facilitated cross-border investigations: The networks between INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police facilitate seamless cooperation in conducting cross-border investigations and apprehending fugitives across borders. This contributes to the successful prosecution of criminals involved in transnational crimes.

Overall, the networks between INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police play a crucial role in promoting international law enforcement cooperation, enhancing security measures, and combating global criminal activities effectively.

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846. email: kennyadewole@gmail.com

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