The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu, has inaugurated a statement-taking room for the CID Panti, Yaba, with a warning to his men to desist from fleecing the public by collecting money for bail.
The facility was provided by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) Programme managed by the British Council and funded by European Union.
While inaugurating the facility recently, Muazu warned policemen collecting money for bail that would not be spared if caught saying they were no different from kidnappers.
Further, he commended RoLAC for the initiative, noting that statement-taking was important in police investigation.
CP Muazu also assured the British Council that the facility would be put to effective use.
In the same vein, Muazu charged officers men of the command to eschew corrupt activities, saying that anyone caught would be decisively dealt with.
In Muazu words: “I advise that we stay far away from corruption. It gives us bad name as it is unprofessional and unethical. We have always said bail is free and we mean it. I keep saying that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper. The only difference is that everyone knows where you kept the suspects”
“The country is hard and we need the people more than they need us. Let us stay far from corruption.”
Muazu commended DCP Yetunde Longe in charge of the CID for diligence in discharge of duties.
In her welcome remarks, DCP Longe said the CID was prepared to embrace world best practices in investigation.
She also commended ROLAC for donating equipment and training officers attached to the department.
“This will in no small measure add value to our productivity. I want to assure the CP, the donor and other stakeholders that this facility will be judiciously utilised for the intended purpose.
“The vision and mission of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure diligent investigations is a task that must be accomplished,” she said.
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mrs. Titilayo Shitta-Bay, said she was delighted to witness the inauguration, noting that the facility was important to police investigations.
She said over time there had been issues on manners in which statement is being taken from suspects and the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws 2015 has mandated the recording of statements.
Shitta-Bay, added that the police was not adequately equipped in statement taking before and enjoined them to utilise the newly donated facility in line with the police practice and the Nigeria Constitution.
In addition, Mrs. Ajibola Ademakinwa, the State Programme Coordinator for Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme said the programme was to enhance good governance, curb corruption and ensure in Nigeria.
“This is why we work and partner with the police to ensure critical laws are adhered to. We identified gaps in these laws and worked with the police to set this up.
“We are looking at setting up more Statement Taking Rooms in Lagos as we look out to the effective use of the facility” Ademakinwa concluded.
The three-room facility has investigating/statement taking rooms and a monitoring centre where police officers investigating cases are monitored.