August 25, 2015

Ikorodu robbery suspects sue IGP, others

Ikorodu robbery suspects sue IGP, others

The robbery suspects paraded Monday in Lagos.

By Innocent Anaba

Lagos—The four suspects paraded in connection with the recent bank robbery in Ikorodu, Lagos State, have dragged the Inspector General of Police before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, saying that their alleged confessional statements given out to journalists, was extracted from them behind their lawyer.

The robbery suspects paraded Monday in Lagos.

The robbery suspects paraded Monday in Lagos.

The four suspects had reportedly confessed to playing different roles in the robbery while three Sport Utility Vehicles allegedly bought from the proceeds of the robbery were recovered from them.

The suspects – Agbojule Bright, Promise Abiwa, Monday Omoboye and Monday Ikuesan, were on July 6, 2015, paraded by the police in connection with the robbery of the Ipakodo branches of First  and Zenith Banks in Ikorodu, where an 18-man gang, which they allegedly belonged to, made away with about N80 million on June 24, 2015.

In their fundamental rights enforcement suit filed before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, counsel, Akanbi, claimed that the police violated the right of the suspects to remain silent or to avoid answering any questions until consultation with a legal practitioner or any person of their choice as stipulated by Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Akanbi in the suit said that the suspects “made confessional statements to newsmen under duress,” arguing that the police had no right to parade the suspects to be interviewed by the press “unless such a suspect wishes to give interview after the matter has been charged to a court of competent jurisdiction.”

According to him, the suspects might not be able to get fair trial in court since they have “already suffered prejudice in the eye of the public due to unfair publicity and unprofessional acts of the defendants.”

He claimed that the police had neither allowed him nor the family members of the suspects to see them since their arrest, adding; “The applicants’ counsel were not allowed to see the applicants even to have a brief interview when they visited the defendants on July 15, 2015.

“The applicants’ constitutional rights under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution are at stake because the defendants have already taken a bias position by denying the applicants’ family or their counsel their right of visiting them in police custody.

“It will be in the interest of justice if the applicants are brought before this honourable court so that the court can ascertain whether the applicants are still alive.

“It will be in the interest of justice if the applicants can be charged by the defendants to court since they have already spent over 24 hours in custody and failure to do this will amount to usurpation of the constitutional powers of the judiciary.”

According to him, the suspects were entitled to damages for their unlawful detention, urging the court to award N5million against the defendants in their favour.