11th December, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
In a bid to decongest all the over blown police cells with suspects in Rivers state due to the closure of all courts, the Commissioner of Police, Dan Bature, has directed all Divisional Police Officers to release all suspects with bailable offenses.
Ahmad Muhammad, the Police Public Relations Officer, who made the announcement directed that within 48 hours affected suspects be released to decongest the over stretched police cells in state.
It would be recalled that due to the closure of all courts in the state caused by the crisis over who should be Chief Judge of the state, between Justice Peter Agumagu and Justice Daisy Okocha the police stations have had to take on many cases.
At the heat of the crisis, the judiciary workers under the aegies of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, declared an indefinite strike because of the dilemma.
Due to the standoff, the state courts have been under lock and key for more than six months making it impossible for suspects in police custody to be prosecuted in courts or granted bail.
Bature had directed that legally accepted sureties should be made to enter into bail bonds on behalf of suspects.
He however warned that offenses that are not bailable like rape, murder etc are no part of those affected.