Court orders police to produce Lekki robbery suspect

appeal-courtJUSTICE Iyabo Akinkugbe of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the police to produce in court a 20-year-old man, Ebi Tosan arrested in connection with the March 12, 2015 robbery of the Lekki branch of First City Monument Bank (FCMB Tosan was alleged to be one of the robbers, who reportedly stormed the bank wearing military uniform and engaged the police in a gunfight on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos State, for about 30 minutes before finally escaping through the lagoon in a speed boat. ‎

The robbers allegedly killed five persons, including three policemen and a fish hawker, before carting away about N15m belonging to the bank. The police, thereafter, apprehended four of the suspected robbers on April 5, 2015 and were paraded.

Aside Tosan, other suspects included: Duke Odogbo, 38; Lawrence Kingsley, 31; and Ekelemo Kuete, 30.

However, Tosan has instituted suit challenging his arrest, ‎torture and continued detention by the State Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, without admitting him to bail as a violation of his human rights, preserved by Sections 34(1)(a), 35(1)(4) and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

He prayed the court to order the police to release him on bail and demanded for N100m damages against the police for unlawful detention and torture.

Tosan counsel, Chief S.W. Baidi, had told the court that the continued detention of his client without bail was an infringement of the applicant’s constitutional right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and presumption of innocence.

When the matter came up for hearing before the vacation judge, Justice Akinkugbe‎ reaffirmed earlier order by the sister judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu to produce the suspect in court.  Justice Okunnu had on July 9, 2015 ordered the police to produce the suspect in court upon hearing of his fundamental rights application filed before the court.

Justice Akinkugbe, therefore, adjourned till August 10, 2015 for the police to bring the suspect to court. Respondents in the suit include: the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Officer-in-Charge of SARS, Ikeja, Abba Kyari and the Attorney General of Lagos State.

The applicant in a 26-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the originating summons deposed to by one Tamuno Amos, who addressed himself as the suspect’s uncle, averred that he believed that his nephew’s continued detention by the police was a deliberate act by the police to “extract a confessional statement from him on the alleged offence.”

Amos, who said he wa not allowed to see his nephew since his arrest, claimed “the applicant is suffering daily without access to food, bath and other conveniences and he may die in custody unless granted bail.”

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