5th July, 2010
A police chief, Mr. Azubuko Udah, says detention of suspects of bailable crime beyond 24 hours remains illegal and should be condemned by all.
Udah, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 11 comprising Lagos and Ogun, also said in Lagos that the bail of suspects at police stations, remained free.
The AIG spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
He said that the police authorities had consistently instructed its officers and men not to detain suspects of bailable crime beyond 24 hours as provided for by the constitution.
Udah urged suspects unduly detained by the police to seek redress in court.
He warned that erring police officers would take personal responsibility for court decisions against the police over any illegal detention.
“If, for instance, a suspect sues the police over that and court fines the police because of that, the erring officer will take personal responsibility for it,â€™â€™ he said.
The police boss said that it was unlawful for police officers and men to demand for money for the bail of a suspect.
He advised citizens to refuse paying money to bail their relatives or clients but to insist on securing the bail free.
“People should have the courage to exercise this right and possibly report to the DPO or area commander in charge.
“We should not aid corruption by giving money for bail. Bail is still free,â€™â€™ he said.
Udah said that the police had arrested a number of its officers and men for collecting money for the bail of suspects.