20th March, 2014
There was drama at Ejigbo Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, western Nigeria, on Wednesday, when a man identified as Emeka Akabundu, dumped his two kids at the court premises in protest over the arrest of his wife by the police.
Before Akabundu left the court in tears, he alleged that the police at Ikotun Division detained his wife and two children for three days at the station because he could not pay them the money they demanded in order to set them free.
The kids identified as Miracle and Favour, were abandoned in the court premises while Akabundu complained bitterly that the police treated his family badly because he was poor.
This caused confusion as both the litigants and the counsel in the court were at a loss about what to do until a woman lawyer, Barrister Ngozi Wilson, intervened and took care of them.
According to him, “I pleaded with the police and my neighbour who is the father of the girl assaulted and asked them to allow me to treat the girl but the police refused, insisting that I give them money.”
Akabundu alleged that the police demanded N20,000 bribe as part of condition to bail his wife and settle the matter that brought her to the station.
He said his wife had a problem with their neighbour at their Ikotun home when he went to work and she was arrested.
He said when he went to the station and pleaded with the neighbour to settle the matter amicably, the police insisted that the case must be taken to court and declined to release his wife.
He said instead, they handed him the children at the station and asked him to go and buy food for them.
He said when he went back to the station after feeding the children, he was told that his wife had been charged to court for assault.
In anger, Akabundu took the children and dumped them in the court premises and left.
Akabundu’s wife was arrested by the police for assaulting his neighbour’s daughter.
She was detained at the station for three days because the husband did not show up to settle the matter.
P.M.NEWS confirmed at the station that the woman was actually detained behind the counter with the kids because the police found it difficult to charge the woman with the kids.
Our reporter could not confirm if the police actually demanded money from Akabundu at the station.
Efforts to see the DPO, Abba Haruna, failed when our reporter visited the station.
Akabundu later returned to the court to take the two kids away after he was told that the court did not arraign his wife.