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Unlawful Detention: Police boss to face PSC panel

POLICE IG

FOR ALLEGEDLY using his office to intimidate, harass, extort and torture innocent citizens, the Police Service Commission, PSC, which is saddled with the responsibility of promotion and discipline of members of the Force would soon begin the interrogation and question of the Divisional Police Officer of Kubwa Phase 4 divisional headquarters, CSP, Ayobami Surajudeen for allegedly arresting and keeping an Abuja based legal practioner, Mr. Chijioke Anieto in detention without valid court order.

The lawyer was arrested by officers of the division in Kubwa on the May 23, over allegation bordering on house breaking and theft following a complaint by the lawyer’s neighbour, Mr Ossai Nwachukwu that the lawyer broke into his apartment and stole his TV set. Nigerian Pilot checks reveals that the lawyer with enrolment No: SCN 102648 who was released on bail on the same day was asked by CSP Surajudeen to report to the station the next day for further interrogation but was rearrested for reporting to the station very late. He was handcuffed by the police on May 24 and taken to Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court but the judge’s absence stalled his arraignment. A Police source at the Kubwa Divisional Police station told Nigerian Pilot that the DPO has issues with the principal partner of the detained lawyer, one Mr. Ifeanyi Chukwu that led to the judgement of a Federal High Court Abuja for which the lawyer sued the DPO and the Nigerian Police.

According to the source, the judgement was delivered in favour of the Police by the late Justice Evoh Chukwu over a robbery related issue. He said that the complainant, Mr Ossai, who is a dry cleaner by profession after the complaint against the lawyer, came to the station and reported to the IPO on the case Mr. Peter Alufailu that he has found his television within the neighbourhood including a DVD player of the detained lawyer that got missing some time ago. Complainant’s effort to withdraw the case from the station was allegedly rebuffed by the DPO on the ground that the lawyer may institute a legal action against the Police.

When Nigerian Pilot contacted the Divisional Police Officer by telephone, CSP Ayobami Surajudeen said that he had valid court order, that that was why he was keeping the lawyer in the Police cell. He said that the matter was before the court in Kubwa and that the lawyer would be arraigned today. According to CSP Surajudeen, there is nothing special, of any other interest, vengeance or vendetta on the case. He said he was only doing his job professionally and has no any grudge against any lawyer that to warrant him abuse his office as a Police officer.

The investigating police officer in the matter, Mr. Peter Alufailu also told Nigerian Pilot that the matter has been charged to Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court and the case file relating to the matter has been given to the prosecutor to do the needful. Efforts by our correspondent to reach the Force Public Relations Officer and the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the Federal Capital Territory Command to react on the matter proved abortive as both of their telephone lines were not connecting. As at the time of filing this report, the Barrister Chijioke Anieto was still in detention at Kubwa Divisional Police Headquarters phase 4.

SOURCE: NIGERIAN PILOT