Dos, Don’ts of lodging complaints at police station (IV)

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With Saliu Woru Mohammed

Continue from last week
It is better and safe for the Investigative Police Officer to take the accused person making a confessional statement before a superior police officer, who will read over the statements to the hearing of the accused person and also counter sign the statement as true and voluntary statements by the accused.
A person in police custody is entitled to free feeding three times a day. He is also allowed by law to have access to his lawyer or relation but such an interaction or conversation between a suspect and his lawyer or relation must be under close watch of the IPO. By law, a suspect under police custody is entitled to free molestation as the police is not authorized to detain a suspect in his custody beyond a period of 24 hours. However, this excludes a public holiday before taking him before a court of law or while on a journey. Unless court permission is sought through Remand Warrant, whoever detained a suspect more than 24 hours without the permission of competent court of law could be held liable for the infringement of Fundamental Human Right, the action is tantamount to an illegal detention until contrary is proved.
The police investigator must show that he is not biased to either the complainant or indeed to the accused person, by critically investigating all points raised by the accused person or persons in their statements. The statements of person or persons mentioned in the accused statements must be well recorded, where necessary exhibits or clues mentioned by the suspect must be made to cross check his movement. Experience has shown that there are two types of arrests, i.e. arrest with warrant or arrest without warrant, where the offence allegedly committed required warrant of arrest, efforts must be made to collect one from the Magistrate or a Judge, where a warrant of arrest is issued, such an arrested person must be taken before the judge for necessary directive. Suffice to say that a police officer can arrest a person who commits or about to commit an offence in his presence. Same also applies to a private person but such an arrested person must be taken to the nearby police station for necessary action. Having established a criminal case against an accused person, such an accused person must be taking to court for prosecution. An arrested person is not expected to offer any form of gratification to the police or court, doing so can be very costly and criminal. When an accuse person cannot be traced, the law did not permit the police to arrest any of his family in his place, unless such family is a party to the crime committed by the accused person. To be continued next week

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