By Osazee Edigin
In September 2019, we did a report of an eight month plus pregnant woman that was detained by a policeman in Area Command on Sapele Road, Benin City.
We can still recall that the issue was that she went to fix her hair in a salon close to her house when she bought some hair attachments from the salon owner. Only to be arrested alongside others that the said hair attachments were stolen.
She was taken into custody with the salon owner and others without the alleged seller who has not be presented by the police till this very moment. Others that were arrested with her were granted bail due to their ability to pay for it, while she was held in custody for four days because she could not pay the sum of N200, 000 for her bail as demanded by the IPO.
When members of Edo Civil Society Organisations indicated interest in her case and tried to secure her bail, the IPO hurriedly rushed her to court with others who were hitherto granted bail. Barrister Emmanuel Imuagbagbon Usoh offered to represent her at no cost which he has been appearing in court as her defence lawyer personally.
Today, was another appearance which saw the IPO not also present in court again to give evidence after several previous adjournments without his presence. The prosecutor had informed the court that the IPO is on a special duty, a statement that was at variance with a previous excuse given.
It should be noted that, she gave birth after two days EDOCSO secured her bail in court. The baby girl that was detained with her mother while inside the mother’s womb was in court today. We are suggesting to the lawyer to file a case of fundamental rights against the police on behalf of the baby. The erudite lawyer, Emmanuel Usoh Esq is still considering our suggestion. We hope it goes through.
We hope the IPO will be able to leave his ‘special duty’ post to finish what he started. Police Officers should be reminded that hurriedly charging a matter to court is not the end of it. Majority of high criminal matters don’t get to court because the suspects can settle them at the police station not without heavy envelopes not exchanging hands.
OUR CREED IS TO ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS OPPRESSED IRRESPECTIVE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL STATUS DEFICIENCIES.
By Leftist Osazee Edigin, Public Relations Officer, Edo Civil Society Organisations
No. 1, Sokponba Road, (ACB Building) Benin City, Edo State,