FCT minister demands arrest of VIPs seeking bail for criminals

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Bello, has urged security agencies to arrest anyone who comes to solicit bail for arrested criminals, with intention of unleashing such criminals back on society.

He made the call during the weekly Ministerial Briefing, organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, explained that this is part of the efforts to keep the metropolis safe and free of crimes.

Bello also said the revenue generation drive of the FCT is targeted at surpassing that of Lagos state, disclosed that the federal capital city currently generates more than N200 billion annually.

On curbing crime rate in Abuja, the minister said there had been reports of some highly-placed individuals who had been known to solicit for release of arrested criminal elements, only to unleashed back on society to commit more crimes.

He, however, appealed to residents to expose those involved in freeing such urchins by reporting them to authorities.

Mohammed admitted that the criminal justice system in the territory had challenges as its three correctional facilities are now filled to capacities.

According to him, criminals convicted in Abuja courts are now being sent to Suleja in Niger State even as the territory is proposing what he called a “bolster centre” to accommodate underage convicts.

On the revenue target of the FCT, he said the administration currently generates N200bn annually through aggressive revenue drive to surpass Lagos State, which as of this writing is the highest revenue generating state with N535bn generated in 2021 and a targeted N980.6bn in 2022.

The minister also noted that his administration has earmarked N1bn to renovate the National Mosque and National Ecumenical Center, to ensure they remain visitable sites in the FCT.

The minister said that he had demystified the office of the minister by devolving real powers to agencies which empowers them to carry out their responsibilities without undue interference.

He blamed the need for demolition of structures in the territory on the failure of past ministers to properly carry out their responsibilities.

According to him, if agencies had been able to do their jobs, the structures earmarked for demolition would not have sprang up in the first place.

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