The Lagos House of Assembly has passed an amended version of the Criminal Justice Law of the state barring the police from henceforth parading suspects before the media.
The bill was passed at a sitting presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
Section 9(A) of the newly passed bill states: “As from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.”
The bill further stipulates conditions under which a policeman can arrest without a warrant one of which is that a person must be reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments.
A subsection of the bill also barred the police or any other agency from arresting a person “in lieu of any other person in a criminal matter.”
The bill adds that a person who is arrested “shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defence or release.
The bill stipulates that a suspect should be “accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity of person; not be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; be brought before the court as prescribed by this law or any other written law, or be released conditionally or unconditionally.”
After a voice vote, the Deputy Speaker directed the acting Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the bill to the governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for assent.
President Muhammadu Buhari (right) with the Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mohammed Buba Marwa at the State House, Abuja, during a visit by Marwa to brief him on the activities of the agency (photo by The Guardian)
Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), has enjoined members of the National Assembly not to support to move to legalise cannabis, cautioning that members who vote for it might not be able to return to their constituencies.Marwa made the submission yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
The former military administrator of Lagos said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the dangers of cannabis to the brain, disclosing that Nigeria was the highest consumer of the substance globally.
Vowing that Nigeria would not submit to the push for its legalisation, Marwa said: “Now, the WHO itself has declared that cannabis affects the brain, alters brain function. It destabilises and affects behaviour. It also affects body organs, and at some point, it can lead to death.
“So, while we appreciate those who want to legalise it for financial gains, we have to be careful to reconcile it with life. So, it’s money versus life. And up to this point, science has not developed up to the point where it can remove the THC in cannabis to zero.
“Therefore, cannabis is harmful to our health; it is a danger to society. We must never allow its legalisation. What’s more, Nigeria has 10.6 million cannabis users; this is the highest in the world. Isn’t it sad?
“We should be the highest in science, technology, mathematics, physics and not highest in cannabis. That is something we need.
“We can never support legalisation and I don’t see how the National Assembly would pass the bill because I know 90 per cent or more of the honourable and distinguished members of the National Assembly know the implications of this legalisation. They dare not go back to their constituencies if anyone signs legalisation because we are seeing the implication on the ground. The youth, the families are being destroyed because of cannabis and drugs. It wouldn’t be legalised by the grace of God.”
Marwa, who revealed that he has received constant death threats from criminals in the course of his assignment, said he was not concerned even though he takes precautions.
Specifically, on the threats, he quipped: “Severally! It’s almost a daily occurrence because my phone number is open. Equally, messages come through family, through colleagues, and sometimes people at random whom we don’t know but I live in the territory. That said, we also take precautions.”
The NDLEA boss said he was at that presidential villa to brief President Buhari on the recent activities of the agency, especially the move to construct barracks for personnel of the agency, saying he received a positive response from the president on the initiative.
He added: “We have, as you know, personnel in the 36 states of the federation and FCT. Therefore, we expect barracks in all the locations. The budgetary provision is something that I will not comment on at this point.
“Well, the President told us well done. And that well done does not go to Gen. Marwa but the NDLEA officers and men. And if there’s a secret behind it, we thank the Almighty God for the successes recorded so far, and also to the gallant and professional officers and men of the NDLEA who have remained upstanding.”
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba on Thursday, 26th August 2021, received the report of the NPF Special Investigation Panel (SIP) investigating the alleged indictment of the erstwhile Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), DCP Abba Kyari by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
A statement by DCP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer said “The report was submitted by the chairman of the SIP, DIG Joseph Egbunike, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“DIG Egbunike, while presenting the report, appreciated the IGP for the confidence reposed on him and the members of the Panel to conduct the probe.
“He noted that the Panel commenced investigations immediately it was inaugurated on 2nd August, 2021 and the report submitted is an outcome of a painstaking, transparent and exhaustive investigative process.
“He further revealed that the report presented contained the case file of the probe, evidence, and findings as well as testimonies from DCP Abba Kyari and other persons and groups linked to the matter.
“The IGP, who commended the Panel for the work done, stated that the essence of the probe was to carry out discrete investigations into the allegation levied against the Officer to enable the Force leadership be appropriately guided in its decision-making processes.
“The IGP assured that a careful and expeditious review of the recommendations would be undertaken by the Force Management Team and thereafter forwarded to appropriate quarters for necessary action(s).
“He reiterated as always, the commitment of the Force to justice for all.”
The Police in Benue State on Monday killed three suspected kidnappers after a gun battle to rescue a commissioner’s wife, Mrs Ann Unenge, who was abducted four days ago.
Mrs Unenge, the wife of the Benue State Commissioner of Lands and Survey, was whisked away alongside her driver on Thursday in Makurdi metropolis.
The woman’s abduction occurred less than one week after two housewives including a medical doctor’s wife, were also taken away at the new GRA in Makurdi.
It was learnt that the housewives regained freedom after a ransom of N6 million was paid by their families while the demand of N51 million was placed on the commissioner’s wife as at Saturday.
But, in a gun battle with the police on Monday afternoon, three of the kidnappers were killed while the woman and her driver who sustained injuries were rescued alive and taken to the hospital for treatment.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who led members of his cabinet to the police headquarters where the dead bodies of the suspects were displayed, hailed the Inspector General of Police and his men in Benue State for the feat.
Ortom said the police showed professionalism in engaging the suspected kidnappers in a heavy gun battle after they were able to trace them to their hideouts even as he thanked all those who volunteered useful information which led to the rescue of the woman and her driver.
The governor, however, ordered immediate demolition of the house where the deceased suspects used for their nefarious activities in line with the State’s law on kidnapping.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said the details of the incident would soon be made available to newsmen.