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Rights Activist Decries IGP Kayode’s Abuse Of Criminal Justice System, Writes Presidency

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A Human Rights Activist and Editor-in-Chief for the International Human Rights Commission-IHRC Switzerland, Mr. Fidelis Onakpoma, has called on the Nigerian government to immediately and effectively address the dynamics that have given rise to and sustain endemic negligence of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and its related abuses.

Adding that abuse of the Administration of the Criminal Justice System by the NPF over the years has recorded unprecedented heights, and it is time public officers accord due respect to judicial orders, in the interest of democracy and good governance in the country.

Fidelis made the call in Abuja while reacting to the alleged unlawful detention of Chinenye Duru, a staff of Polaris Bank who was said to have been arrested and clamped into detention by Zone 4 Police in Abuja since December 11, 2023, following a petition by his estranged Spiritual Father and Founder of Living Christ Mission, Rev. Victor Obiajunwa Onukaogu popularly known as “Daddy Hezekiah”.

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He noted that the petitioner was said to have allegedly bribed his way through a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG, after the refusal of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to do unlawful bidding when nothing incriminating was established against Chinenye Duru and decided to left off.

He said the order for his detention issued on December 22, 2023, was however voided and set aside by Abuja Chief Magistrate Abdulsalam Abubakar on January 3, 2024.

Similarly, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja in his ruling on January 5, 2024, also ordered the Police to immediately grant him bail but the two orders were not complied with.

Fidelis described the non-compliance as an abuse of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, violating sections 4, 5, and 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and posing a global threat to human rights.

Stressing that the Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of IGP Kayode Egbetokun has continued to defer the Police Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, established to promote efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crimes and protection of the rights and interest of the suspect, the defendant and victim.

He maintained that the Police at Zone 4 after conceding to the alleged bribe of thirty-six million naira – N36,000,000 have been allegedly acting as debt recovery officers for the petitioners with the unlawful detention and refusal to grant bail to the detained banker, despite several court orders.

Noting that DCP Ohiozoba O. Ehiede, Commissioner of Police, Legal/Prosecution Section Force Headquarters Abuja had on January 10, 2024, directed the Head of Special Investigation Unit led by ACP Efiong Asuquo to comply with the Court Order, which Asuquo has deliberately turned down with the flimsy excuse of acting under the instruction of his superior.

Imbibing to President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, Fidelis urges the President through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Lateef Fagbemi to urgently intervene in this matter and save the country from this bedeviling endemic of the NPF.

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