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Suspected looters, thugs rejected by Lagos prisons after arraignment in court

The Lagos State Police Command has begun the arraignment and prosecution of all suspected looters and thugs arrested in connection with the mayhem unleashed on the state in the aftermath of the Lekki tollgate shootings and alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers.

It was learnt that no fewer than 520 suspects have been arrested by the police in the state in relation to arson, murder, looting, assault, among others.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, Muyiwa Adejobi, over 200 of the arrested 520 suspects had been arraigned as at Wednesday.

But reports however, have it that the suspects were returned to the police cell after their arraignment in court, instead of being remanded in prison custody.

According to the report, the Nigeria Custodial Service refused taking in the suspected hoodlums over challenge of space in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Adejobi, “We have commenced the arraignment of the 520 suspected hoodlums. We have been sharing the suspects to various facilities because it is a state command’s case and the state command has the right to keep the suspects in any of our stations.”

The PPRO however stated that rejecting of suspects by the custodial centre was not peculiar to the suspected hoodlums.

“The procedure is that whenever we charge suspects to court, they are always remanded in police facilities because of COVID 19. So, the next thing we do is to get them tested for COVID-19 after which they would be received at the correctional centres.”

In his reaction, the spokesman for the Nigeria Correctional Service in Lagos, Rotimi Oladokun, said he was not aware that the suspected hoodlums were turned back, but said there was a standing rule that suspects must first run COVID-19 test before being admitted into correctional facilities.

“We have an understanding with all critical stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice in Lagos State. Once the court gives an order for remand, the Lagos State Government conducts COVID-19 test on them. Once they get negative result, they bring them to us. Those who test positive, the government takes them to the treatment centre and upon a negative result, they bring them to the custodial centre.

“The issue of rejection does not arise. That is not factual,” Oladokun said.


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