Lagos Magistrates to begin Monthly Visits to Police Stations,Detention Centres

 

mAgistrates monthly visits
Illegal and prolonged detention of Nigerians are gross infringements on cherished fundamental human rights to liberty and dignity

Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke has mandated Magistrates to embark on monthly visits to all police stations in Lagos State.

The directive is the direct result of a request made by Mr Femi Falana in a letter to the CJ, stating that this would make the Chief Judge or whoever she was delegating to ascertain how suspects were being treated in detentions as well as checking 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 2015. According to him, 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 designated Magistrates will 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.

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,

In addition, Mr. Femi Falana SAN has urged the five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos State and the media to monitor the visits diligently.

 

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