3rd November, 2010
Lagos lawyer and property consultant, Chief Gabriel Giwa-Amu, has alerted Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State on the illegal activities of operatives of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) squad and officials of the Environmental Task Force who have been arresting and detaining residents in Badagry Prisons.
In a statement made available to P.M.NEWS, Chief Amu, Coordinator of Stephen and Solomon Foundation, a free legal unit in his chambers, disclosed that a recent visit to the Badagry Prisons in Lagos revealed that over 300 youths arrested by KAI officials and men of the environmental sanitation task force are currently languishing there.
â€œIt is on record that in the Nigeria Prison at Badagry, over 300 youths are languishing in prison as a result of forced and illegal arrest carried out by men of the environmental sanitation ministry and KAI officials.
â€œUpon the so-called arrest, they are manhandled and fined without arraignment before a proper court of law. All these illegalities are perpetrated within the precinct of Lagos State Government secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State.
â€œYour Excellency, the random and mindless arrest of innocent persons in the name and style of environmental sanitation and alleged commission of ‘offences’ like street trading, prostitution, raiding, wandering and such other unknown offences have left our prisons congested.
â€œIt is on record that majority of detainees at the Badagry Prisons were simply â€˜depositedâ€™ there after illegal fines as high as one hundred thousand naira was imposed on these youths (who have no means of income) by non-judicial officers operating a mobile court.
”We urge you, sir, to call these agencies to order as their activities have thwarted the efforts of the office of the Public Defender which our body associates with in its aspirations.
”Your Excellency, it will be of interest to know that over three hundred and eighty five of these unfortunate youths have been set free, courtesy of our free legal service in conjunction with the Knights of St. Mulumba, Lekki sub-council. We are proud to inform you that these bodies have been at the forefront of the efforts geared towards decongesting the prisons nationwide,” he stated.
Efforts to get officials of KAI and the environmental taskforce to respond to the allegations proved abortive.