Lagos Assembly passes law baring parading of suspects, torture, arrest without warrant

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In a bid to instil the Fundamental Human Rights (FHR) on citizens found wanting at the wrong arm of the law, the Lagos House of Assembly has passed the amended Criminal Justice Law of the state.

The law passed on Monday now bars police from parading suspects, harassment and torture, arresting suspected criminals without a warrant.

Also, the police cannot arrest the suspect’s family members or relations and suspected criminals will have access to lawyers in the event of court processes.

READ ALSO: Lagos assembly cuts Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode’s pension by 50 per cent, stops other benefits

The bill was passed by the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.

Full details of the bill passed;

No more parading of a suspect by police

Unlike the case of Chidinma Ojukwu and other suspects in the past, police will no more parade a suspect before the media as the amended version of the Criminal Justice Law of the state has put a stop to the act.

“As from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.” The law states.

Arrest without warrant

The new law makes it mandatory for police to present an arrest warrant before arresting a suspect, and the only condition to do otherwise is when the person is reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments.

In any case, where the suspect does not possess weapons or firearms unlawfully, the police must show a warrant of arrest.

No more arrest in lieu 

This means that a family member or relations of a suspect can no longer be arrested and only the alleged suspect may be arrested.

The Nigerian Police are used to arresting every person they meet at an arrest location whether the suspect is there or not, but this act is no more legal and the police in Lagos can now be sued for arrested friends or family members of a suspect.

No more harassment or torture

The new law bars the police from harassing or torturing a suspect before or after arrest.

“A suspect should also be accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity of the person; not subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; be brought before the court as prescribed by this law or any other written law; or be released conditionally or unconditionally.” The law states.

Access to a lawyer

The new law stipulates that a suspect has the right to a lawyer and must not be held in custody beyond the lawful day.

“A person arrested shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defence or release.” States the new bill.

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