Daily Trust (Abuja)

1 April 2013

Nigeria: Rights Group Faults Police for Parading Baby Over Robbery

The Human Rights Writers' Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the recent parading by the Ogun state police command of a two-month old baby, the mother and a teenager for alleged robbery committed by the father.

HURIWA in a statement by the national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the national media affairs director Miss. Zainab Yusuf described the action as atrocious, primitive and a total breach of the fundamental human rights of a Nigerian child.

The group faulted the "primitive and unconstitutional practice of parading crime suspects before they are properly charged to the competent courts of law, citing section 36[5] which provides that crime suspects remain innocent in the eye of the law until proven guilty by the court of competent jurisdiction."

HURIWA also cited chapter four of the constitution containing the fundamental rights of every Nigerian citizen as providing for fair hearing to be given to any crime suspect arrested for any kind of offence.

The body wants the federal government to fish out the police officers responsible for "this dastardly act that is totally unconstitutional, illegal and criminal" and punish them to serve as deterrent for future breach of the rights of the Nigerian children.

The police in the Ogun state had reportedly paraded baby Oyinkansola Adeosun, his mother Mrs Fausat and 15 year old teenager Tobi Adeosun over an alleged robbery committed by the baby's father-Ismail Adeosun who fled before the police arrived the house.

The Ogun state police commissioner Mr Ikemefuna Aduba said the mother of the baby and the teenager were arrested for allegedly keeping gun for her husband but the woman claimed that she was no longer married to the fleeing robbery suspect and that she consistently asked the man to take away the gun which one of the arrested brothers was in the process of removing before all of them were apprehended by the police operatives.

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