Stop And Search: Man Arrested For Being In Possession of Another Person’s Expired ATM
Ignorance is not an excuse
Yesterday (Thursday) evening someone called me (Narrator)that his immediate younger brother was brought down from a taxi coming from Choba to Rumuokoro by one of the Police tactical teams in Rivers State.
Upon search of all the occupants, nothing incriminating was found on them but the Police found someone’s expired ATM card on his brother, he was arrested on reasonable suspicion that he must have committed a crime.
His brother was taken to the office of the tactical unit where his brother claimed that he just picked the expired ATM card on the ground.
However, the man’s worry is that Police has determined his brother from May 8,2023 up till date without concluding investigation to decide to release him or arraigned him in court.
I got in touch with the head of the unit. Note that is not a formal response, since the head of the unit is not the Police spokesperson, the person is not permitted to speak to the public.
The head of the tactical unit told me that the Police is suspecting the man to be a fraudster or armed robber or Kidnapper, that they have written to the bank to get full details of the Account owner to known what happened to the account owner, if he/she is alive or not etc., that after two weeks, the bank responded and told the Police to get a court order that will instruct the bank to furnish the Police with details of the account owner.
The head of the tactical unit further said they are making effort presently to get the court order so they can conclude investigation to know if the man is culpable of any crime before he can be released unconditionally or arraigned in court.
I reverted back to the Man and told him, this is the response of the Police concerning your immediate younger brother ordeal.
I advised him to get a lawyer that can seek for legal interpretation of the Police action especially as it has to do with detention for over a Month .
MY TAKE ON THE MATTER
I will not blame the Police for deciding to carry out thorough investigation because, the first question I asked was, what is the young man doing with someone’s else ATM card whom you do not know.
If you are conversant with mode of crime, you will know that the first thing kidnappers and armed robbers collect from their victims are phones and ATM card.
Fraudster/Internet Yahoo boys also targets people ATM card to perpetrate evil.
Why will someone pick an expired ATM card on the floor.
If it is someone’s ID card, it can be explained that he picked it to give to the Police or get across to the owner.
The only area I think the Police have violated his right is if they are detaining the suspect for this long without a COURT ORDER.
However like I told the suspect’s, brother, the suspect is free to get a lawyer as the constitution says he is presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by court of competent jurisdiction.