Vanguard (Lagos)

24 February 2013

Nigeria: Lagos Probes Alleged Arrest, Extortion of Pregnant Woman On Sanitation Day

Lagos — THE Lagos State Government has ordered full investigation into the alleged detention and extortion of one Nkechi Omakagu, said to have been arrested by Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, officials for violating the restriction of movement order of the state sanitation laws leading to the loss of her pregnancy.

Omakagu has already petitioned the Office of the Public Defender, OPD, and the Ministry of Justice, which has since taken over the matter. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, while reacting to the reports, affirmed that the suspect actually contravened the state environmental law and investigation had commenced in the interest of justice.

According to Ibirogba,"we refer to the recent media reports of February 21 and 22, 2013, where one Nkechi Omakagu claimed she was apprehended by KAI men for violating the restriction of movement order of the state sanitation laws and that her consequent arrest led to a threatened abortion and eventual loss of her pregnancy.

"To set the record straight, it is pertinent to state that the said Nkechi Omakagu actually contravened the law and was apprehended and later released on the said day.

"After her release, Nkechi Omakagu drew the attention of the Commissioner for the Environment to the issue, who immediately ordered an investigation to unravel her alleged claim of detention and extortion. However, in the course of the investigation, she petitioned the Office of the Public Defender, OPD, and the Ministry of Justice, which has since taken over the matter.

"'The OPD has commenced full investigation into the matter and even invited the parties for interrogation on Friday, February 21. As an administration that believes in the rule of law, Lagos State Government will await the outcome of the investigations."

"We remain committed to OPD's handling of the matter as it is currently being done and will provide the necessary support for the agency's successful resolution of the matter, including unraveling the nexus between her arrest and alleged loss of pregnancy. The state government, therefore, urged all parties to subject themselves to the investigation by the OPD, as it would lead to the quick resolution of the matter.

"This is necessary because this administration is ever committed to the protection of lives and property as well as rights of every individual within the ambience of the Laws of the land .This is a humane administration that will never allow any of its citizens to suffer injustice."

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