Lagos Police Running a Criminal Enterprise at Panti, Lawyer Cries Out Source (fij.ng)

PEGASUS LEGAL

O.O. Nwani, a lawyer, has decried the inhumane treatments accused persons who are in detention are subjected to at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

In a series of tweets, the lawyer shared his experience while on a visit to the department to secure a client’s bail.

Nwani stated that the Police are running a criminal enterprise at the department.

“What we saw was a total state of nature, where the obsessed policemen, laden with corrupt monies claimed to have the power to detain any suspect ad infinitum without any recourse to the extant laws of the land,” he wrote.

“What happened to Section 36 (1)-4) of ACJA/ ACJL which stipulates that Magistrates and High Court Judges should visit Police detention facilities at least once in a month?”

In an interview with FIJ, Nwani said magistrates and judges, who, according to the newly adopted Lagos State Criminal Justice Act, ought to be paying frequent inspection visits to detention centres, are not doing so.

He explained how he was almost harassed by the police officers at the SCIID, despite being a counsel.

“I applied for bail for my client, and even though he’s not the suspect and was arrested in lieu, the police demanded one million naira for bail,” Nwani said.

“Even if my client had been the real suspect who was arrested for stealing, it is still a bailable offence. It is either they arraign them in court or grant administrative bail.”

Nwani explained how frustrated he became when he was prevented from expressing himself by the police.

“What I saw there was horrible. There were pregnant women and minor girls in detention as well. They detain people on bailable offences. One of the policemen even mocked me by saying I earn peanuts as a lawyer. He also boasted to have built houses from the profession,” the lawyer said.

Nwani’s client was also not spared. According to the barrister, he had suffered skin rashes from spending a few days in detention and was willing to pay any amount in securing bail.

“I was there till like 8pm and it looked like this people are operating autonomously. Nobody is talking about Panti Yaba and what is going on there,” Nwani lamented.

Muyiwa Adejobi, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) has however reacted to Nwani’s tweet saying the force will address the issue he raised.

“Wow, we will address that. We will ask Ben (Benjamin Hundeyin, Lagos PPRO) to release the numbers of all DPOs, Area Commanders and HODs in Lagos to the public. This must be done as urgently as possible,” Adejobi wrote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.