By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Human rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN has requested that the Lagos Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke should visit police stations and detention camps in Lagos State regularly to verify the situation with the detainees.
According to the lawyer, this development will make the Chief Judge or whoever she is delegating to ascertain how suspects are being treated in detentions as well as reducing wrongful and illegal camping in the state.
The request according to Falana, was in line with the provision of Section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
The Section recommends:
“The Chief Magistrate, or where there is no Chief Magistrate within the police division, any Magistrate designated by the Chief Judge for that purpose, shall at least every month, conduct an inspection of police stations or other places of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than the prison.
“During a visit, the Magistrate may: (a) call for, and inspect, the record of arrests; (b) direct the arraignment of a suspect; (c) where bail has been refused, grant bail to any suspect where appropriate if the offence for which the suspect is held is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate.”
The lawyer submitted that during the visit, the designated Chief Magistrates are required to call for and inspect the records of all arrests made by the Police, direct the arraignment of criminal suspects and grant bail to detained persons in deserving cases.
He noted that this measure will compel the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies to respect the fundamental rights of every person to liberty and dignity guaranteed by Sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.