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Lagos CP risks contempt for failure to produce kidnap suspects

BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
LAGOS — Justice Yetunde Idowu of an Ikeja High Court will on June 6, 2013, determine whether or not to commit the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko and two others to prison for contempt over alleged failure to produce two suspected kidnappers before her.

Justice Idowu had on February 18, 2013 ordered the Police “to produce two suspected kidnappers, Philip Tomi and Joel Wolomo or their bodies” before the court while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed on their behalf by their counsel, Chief Seliwei Willy Baidi.

Those joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Officer-in charge of anti-robbery squad, Ikeja, Supol Terry and the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Eric.

The application filed  pursuant to order IV Rule 1, 3 and 4 (a)(b) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, was praying the court to compel the police to produce the suspect in court to settle the agitation on whether or not the suspects have been extra-judicially killed by the Police.

It was alleged that Tomi, Wolomo and others had kidnapped one Alhaji Alaka Abayomi, 46 years, in front of his office at Agbowa on August 24, 2012,  following which they were arrested sometimes in September 2012 by the Police and detained at the state anti-robbery squad, Ikeja.

When the matter came up, yesterday, their lawyer informed the court that none of the  respondents had appeared in court, in spite of the fact that they were served with court processes.

The lawyer argued: “There is a case of wilful disobedience of court order by the respondent and the reason is because the respondents have extra-judicially murdered the applicants.

“We, therefore, urge your lordship to exercise your powers until they have purged themselves of the contempt. Let them come to court to tell us whether they are still alive or not.”

He urged the court to grant the prayers contained in their application, adding: “The police cannot claim to be above the law.”


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