The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed that suspects held for minor offences be released from police cells nationwide over the outbreak of covid19
In compliance to the directives, Commissioner of Police in Lagos state Hakeem Odumosu, has also directed all Divisional Police Officers to release minor offenders in their custody and by Tuesday 24th March 2020 Some suspects being detained in police stations and units under the Lagos State Police Command have been released due to the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, told newsmen that all police stations in the state had complied with the directive., “We have monitored compliance with the directive and all stations across the state have complied with it; if you go to some of the stations, you will see empty cells, while some are just left with serious offenders.
“The IG’s statement was that Nigerians should reduce contact with the police and not that they should not come to the police. If you have a serious issue, you can go to the police station to report and we have made the telephone lines of each police station available so that people can call to report their matters instead of going to the stations.”
Our correspondent reports that a visit to the Anti-Cultism Unit in the Gbagada area on Tuesday, noted that some minor offenders had been released from custody. Same with Alapere division
However, a police source in Lagos confirmed to us that most suspects with minor issues were released to their family members in order to decongest the cells, while the suspects in high profile cases were still being held.
He said “We are even rejecting some of the suspects with minor offences that they wanted to send to us from the SARS office, because we don’t know who is carrying the virus among them. We are being careful with those in our cell so as to prevent the spread of the disease and even those with serious cases, who are still in the cell, have been spaced and given hand sanitizers to use, because prevention is better than cure.”