15th June, 2010
A police detective attached to the state Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria has been arraigned before the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly obtaining statement at gun point.
The police officer, Inspector Madu, was alleged to have pointed a loaded gun and forced Christopher Iloabanafo to recopy a written statement as his own statement to implicate his former principal, Barrister E.C. Igweokolo.
The plaintiff alleged in his suit that he was handcuffed, tortured and threatened by the police inspector to copy the statement as his own.
In the suit filed before Justice Tosho, the plaintiff claimed that Inspector Madu arrested him when he went to SCID to facilitate the bail for his former principal.
â€œWhen I got to the SCID, the respondent took me into the police station, handcuffed me and made me to sit down on a chair. He brought out a gun and from under the table and threatened to kill me if I did not do as he instructed,â€ he disclosed.
The applicant stated that as a legal practitioner, he initially refused to write the statement but when the respondent threatened to kill him, he had to do so.
The applicant had gone to court seeking a declaration by the court that his arrest, detention, threat to life made him recopy a statement originally written by the police officer against his former principal and that this violates his fundamental human rights.
He is also seeking a declaration that the said statement obtained under duress is null and void and has no effect.
He also wants the court to issue an order of perpetual injuction restraining the Nigeria Police and its agents from harassing, intimidating or arresting him in respect of the matter.
Those joined in the suit are the state Commissioner of Police, Attorney-General of the Federation and Lagos State Commissioner of Justice.
In their statement of defence, the respondents denied that the applicant’s statement was obtained under duress.
They averred that the applicaant duly signed the statement and was the person who wrote the statement.
The matter has been adjourned till 22, June 2010 for further hearing.