An Ilorin High Court has summoned the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to appear before it on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, to justify the continued detention of a personal assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Lekan Alabi, who was arrested over the April 5, 2018, armed robbery in Offa.
According to Nigerian Tribune, this is coming after the lead counsel to the suspect, Adelodun Ibrahim (SAN), condemned the failure of the police to release Chief of Staff to the Kwara State governor, Alhaji Yusuf Abdulwahab, another suspect in the same robbery incident, who has been granted bail by another high court in the state.
Speaking with journalists after yesterday’s proceedings, the senior advocate of Nigeria, who is leading other four lawyers, said that the refusal of the police to obey the court order on AbdulWahab was worrisome, adding that it portends grave dangers to the deepening of democracy and might lead to loss of confidence in the fairness of the police to handle such cases.
Addressing the court on the matter of the personal assistant to the governor, the lead counsel said that the police was not represented at yesterday’s proceedings, adding that they had been served all the processes related to the case.
It is recalled that the case was brought to Ilorin following the refusal of a Federal High court in Abuja to hear it as the alleged crime was committed in Kwara State.
He said that Alabi had been in detention for over two months (May 28, 2018) and had not been arraigned before any court of law, a development Adelodun argued is in contravention of the provisions of Order 4, Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights enforcement procedure rules (2009) as well as Sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Adelodun had while moving the application pointed out that the detention of the applicant for 60 days without trial is a prima facie case of a breach of his rights to liberty as enshrined in section 35 (7) of the constitution and pointed out that Section 122 of the Evidence Act empowers the court to take judicial notice of the time involved in the exchange of written addresses and affidavit by parties which can compound the suffering of the applicant.
“We are not asking the court to declare our client guilty or innocent at this stage but the police have no right to keep a suspect forever”, he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Adebayo Yusuf, while making his order at the court sitting, said that there was nothing in the constitution that allows the detention of a suspect without trial for a period beyond 24 hours where there is a court or 48 hours in an environment where there is no court.
In a short ruling following the application by Adelodun for an interim bail for the suspect pending the determination of the substantive application, the court aligned with the position of the SAN but decided to allow the police another opportunity to defend its position.
“The position of the law is as stated by the learned silk, however I’m inclined to hear from the respondent to come to court and show cause why the applicant should not be released from their custody, since they have been served the motion on notice”, the judge said adding that it is clear that the police can not change the constitution.