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COVID19: Lawyers begin monitoring of ‘illegal’ police arrests

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikorodu Branch has said it is financing the operations of lawyers monitoring indiscriminate police arrests during the 14-day court restriction in Lagos State.

NBA Ikorodu Chairman, Bayo Akinlade, said lawyers volunteering for the Police Duty Solicitors Scheme (PDSS) will receive financial and technical support.

Akinlade told The Nation that the project is aimed at protecting citizens’ rights and preventing illegal detention in police custody.

“We had to come up with a strategy to protect the rights of citizens who are arrested during this period especially when the courts are not working at full capacity and may shut down,” he said.

The volunteers, he added, will be provided with full kits during their interaction with suspects at police stations.
Akinlade said: “I commend those who will at this period volunteer to protect the basic rights of fellow citizens. “No greater love than this, than for a man to lay down (Sacrifice his time, talent, comfort, treasure etc) his life for another.”

“Other professions are playing their part during this period: Our doctors are there, accountants and bankers are there, transporters are there, food vendors are there, the police are there and the lawyers will be there.”
He advised the volunteers to maintain social distancing and keep themselves safe.

Akinlade said: “Wear protective clothing as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Wear gloves, put on a face mask, make sure you are well covered and have a hand sanitizer].

“Keep safe distance between you and the suspect, complainant and the police

“If you meet with any resistance, simply record the circumstances under which you were not allowed to provide your services and withdraw.

“If you are not allowed into the police station, stay at the nearest convenient place outside the station and notify the DPO of your location

“Do not insist on anything, merely provide probono advice and services and record everything.”

According to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there are currently 42 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID19) in Nigeria.

They are Lagos- 29, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 7, Ogun- 3, Ekiti- 1, Oyo- 1 and Edo- 1

Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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