The Police Command in Lagos State says that no Area Commander walked out any magistrate from inspecting detention facilities at any police station in the state.
This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the command’s spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin.
Hundeyin said that the command’s attention was drawn to a news item making the rounds that the Police Area Commander in Ikorodu walked out Magistrate Ganiyat Anifowose from the premises of the Area Command.
He said that the clarification became necessary in view of the embarrassement the said story had brought to the command.
According to him, on July 27, 2022, the magistrate came to the Area Command with about 10 lawyers, which is totally against the procedure for monthly-cell visits by magistrates.
Hundeyin saud that the lawyers who came in company with the magistrate were taking pictures and making video recordings, a practice the Area Commander staunchly refused, because, it was against laid down procedure.
“Furthermore, magistrate-cell visit is totally different from Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) visit, which is targeted at providing legal services to suspects who are indigent.
“This, the Police have been doing well in collaboration with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria. It was, therefore, inappropriate for the magistrate to have visited the detention facility accomoanied with a PDSS team.
“In the instant case, the visit by the magistrate was conducted contrary to the Provisions of the ACJL 2021, which the Police have been trained on and are abiding by.
“The Area Commander having observed all the lapses, had no choice but to insist on the right procedure,” he explained.
The spokesman said that contrary to the reports in the social media, the Area Commander never walked any magistrate out of the Police Command, rather, he asked the lawyers to wait outside the station, since they were not part of the monthly visit by law.
The image maker noted that at no point did armed men harass the magistrate, stressing that armed men were routinely within the premises of police formations.
“Having set the record straight, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Alabi, reiterated that the Police Command would continue to co-operate and work with the judiciary and all other stakeholders in the administration of justice.
“This is to ensure a smooth dispensation of criminal justice within the state,” he said.