Legal Nigeria

Court re-orders police to produce Lekki robbery suspect

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has re-ordered the state’s Commissioner of Police and SP Abba Kyari of the State Anti-Robbery Squad to produce in court on August 20, 2015, a 20-year-old man, Ebi Tosan, arrested over alleged involvement in the robbery of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) at Admiralty Way, Lekki.
It would be recalled that Tosan who was arrested by the police on April 5, was paraded before newsmen sometime in May 2015 as one of the persons that allegedly robbed the bank.
The applicant (Tosan), through his counsel, Chief S.W. Baidi, then filed an application for bail, claiming N1 million against the respondents for infringement and curtailment of his constitutional right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and presumption of innocence.
However, the trial judge, Justice Olabisi Ogungbesan, on Monday, refused to hear the application since there was no information from the Attorney General, who was later joined in the suit, as to the whereabouts of the applicant.
Justice Ogungbesan said: “It will be fair if the Attorney General is brought to court, they will be able to tell us where the boy is. It is an allegation and I want to hear from the Commissioner of Police. This is a weighty allegation and an allegation of robbery. I believe if you bring the Attorney General to court, you will have half of the problem solved.
“I shall hereby adjourn to August 20 for hearing of the Applicant’s application. It is further ordered that the 1st and 2nd respondent produce the applicant on the adjourned date.”
Counsel to the applicant (Baidi) told the court that “the 20-year-old boy was going to school and was picked up by SARS that he participated in the Lekki robbery and was held since April 4, 2015.
We have not seen this boy till date. We have served all the orders of court to police and they have not come to court. Infact, the Investigation Police Officer (IPO) told the boy’s father that since they have met a lawyer, then let the lawyer show them where their son is.”
Baidi explained to the court that the urgency of the matter has to do with life of a citizen, saying “who knows if he can be the President of this country tomorrow, if alive. This boy can be dispensed with overnight. We have problem serving the police.”
The counsel noted that following failure to see the applicant since his arrest, he is now very apprehensive as to the state and well-being of his client having regard to reported cases of extra judicial killings in Nigeria.
“I verily believe that it is a deliberate act by the respondents to keep the applicant in continued detention in order to extract a confessional statement from him on the alleged offence,” Baidi added