By Augustine Ehikioya
Despite the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) President, General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, hailing from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Vice President of INTERPOL in charge of Africa, AIG Garba Baba Umar, said Africa is at the heart of the President.
Besides working vigorously for a crime free global village, he said, that the President is specially determined to bring greater changes to bear on the African continent, which will boost its capacity to fight crime and criminality.
The INTERPOL Vice President (Africa) spoke in an exclusive interview with Security Watch Africa (SWA) in Abuja.
Speaking on his closeness to the President said “Like minds are always very close to each other. The President of INTERPOL, General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, who is the Inspector General of Police of the UAE, is a committed person.
“He is somebody who wants good for the world, especially Africa. Africa is at the heart of the President of the INTERPOL. And it is on that that he identified with me.
“And he has seen in me the zeal, the commitment that I have and the vision and mission that we have the same.“
“It is on this premise that we believe that we can make a change. I am not going to speak on behalf of the Executive Committee members, but I will talk as the Vice President in Nigeria, and this is how it works. Nigeria and Africa will benefit more,” he stated.
African countries as they are presently, he said, are of great concern because of their low data.
He said the issue of data is a great concern to African continent. When you take the European counterpart, they have about 46.6 percent of the usage of data, while in Africa it is 0.078 percent. This is wrong. We just try to reach one percent.
“Because data at independent isolated bodies, stand alone data will never work. Nowhere in the world that stand alone data works” he said.
Even though many arrests and weapons recovery are being made daily in Africa, he said, their data are not uploaded.
The biometrics of the criminals, he noted, are also not taken.
Where the biometrics are taken, he said, they are not uploaded to the system.
He said “Even with what we have done here with the platform of the INTERPOL, the i247, extending it to other law enforcement agencies, still we are not populating the data.
“Everyday we arrest criminals, suspects, active terrorists, but their biometrics are never taken. Even if they were taken, they were never uploaded and shared among the global village.
And that is why they keep on coming in because we don’t know them,” he added.
He however commended the Nigerian Immigration Service for uploading stolen traveling documents on the system.
“The Immigration is doing a lot of job, SLTD, Stolen and Lost Traveling Documents. We have uploaded more than 168,000 and that’s what makes Nigeria number one in Africa and number 26 in the world.
“If you don’t upload data into the system, there is no way in which you can make use of it and other countries make use of it.
“Go to the Customs, they have been impounding, recovering of arms, but they are not been uploaded into the database.
“If you have 10,000 arms and ammunition being recovered, did you upload them? Did you know where they are coming from?,” he queried.
“It is when you upload that the search will give you reason that this is where the items came from. And it is that premise that you form your hypothesis that this is how you did the operational aspect of it to deal with the future occurrences of this influx.”
According to him, his office is doing everything possible to make sure law enforcement agencies upload their data into the National Data System.
He added that his office is also trying to do the National Criminal Data, where “all the law enforcement agencies and other organizations will bring in their data and it will be uploaded and the INTERPOL will upload into the global system film checks.”