Nigeria: Police Not Solely Responsible for Congestions in Prison - Spokesperson

The police say cases of 'two fighting' will be charged to court unless the complainant and the offender decide to settle amicably.

Nigerians should not blame only the police for the congestion in correctional centres across Lagos State, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the police public relations officer in Lagos State, has said.

Mr Adejobi said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that apart from the police, seven other individuals and organisations involved in the Criminal Justice Administration were also responsible for the congestion found at the various correctional centres in the state.

"There are the suspect, the complainant, the police, the bar, the bench, the Directorate of Public Prosecution, the Ministry of Justice, and the Correctional Centres," said Mr Adejobi, a chief superintendent of police.

He was reacting to allegations that the police were responsible for the large number of inmates at the centres because of their indiscriminate arrests.

Mr Adejobi, however, said that despite the high number of inmates at the different centres, the command would continue to perform its constitutional responsibilities.

According to him, the police certainly will perform their constitutional duties, hand over suspects to court for prosecution and whatever happens thereafter should not be blamed on the police.

"The issue of many cases in magistrates and other courts are not the faults of the police alone.

"The police work is to arrest and when they had established that a crime had been committed, they (police) will charge such suspect(s) to court.

"This also extends to a case of 'two fighting,' except the complainant and the offender decide to settle amicably.

"If the complainant wants to take the case further to court, the police have no fault. They are just performing their duty.

Mr Adejobi, however, cautioned operatives against unprofessional conduct while carrying out their duties, adding that the command was devising means of resolving some cases out of court.

On the attack on correctional centres, Mr Adejobi said the command was tightening security in and around centres located in Badagry, Ikoyi and Kirikiri to avoid jailbreak.

(NAN)

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