Enugu — A total of 1,088 persons were arrested and detained by the police in Enugu metropolis between September and December last year for various offences.
The arrests which were made by policemen serving in 13 police stations within the Enugu capital city, confirmed the high crime wave witnessed within the last quarter of last year, even though the police said there was a drastic reduction in the number of criminal activities recorded during last Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The Citizens Rights and Mediation Centre, CRMC, which coordinates the Enugu State Justice Reform Team made the revelation at a media roundtable organised in Enugu yesterday, where various groups resolved to intensify efforts at decongesting the police detention centres as well as sensitise the populace on the need to explore peaceful means of resolving disputes without involving the law enforcement agents.
Director of the Centre, Mrs. Enu Oluedo, who released the data, said that a breakdown of the figure showed that 270 persons were in police custody in September, 303 persons in October, 295 persons in November and 220 persons in December.
Of the 1,088 persons detained, she said that 477 were accused of committing capital offences, such as armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, manslaughter and rape, while 611 others allegedly committed bailable offences for which 524 were actually released on bail.
Ironically, only 257 of the detainees were charged to court within the four months under review, apparently due to the judicial workers' strike which paralyzed activities in the sector from December to January this year.