A Magistrate in the Ikeja Division of the Lagos Judiciary was detained from morning till night fall by a senior police officer in charge of Area D Command, Mushin, Lagos State, ACP Aliko Dankoli.
The incidence happened on Monday, when the Magistrate and some lawyers visited the Command on a routine check of suspects in the cell base on Police Duty Solicitor Scheme to de-congest the police cells.
It was gathered that the Area Commander’s action breached procedural rules.
It took the intervention of the State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, for the Magistrate to be released and allowed to go home.
Sources said when the PDSS team led by the Magistrate arrived at Area D Command Headquarters in Mushin on Monday they met a resistance which led to the detention of the Magistrate.
According to the Nation, ACP Dankoli was having a briefing with DPOs when he received information that the Magistrate came to inspect cells said to be packed with suspects.
The arrival of the magistrate reportedly angered him, hence the order to have the judicial officer detained in the cell.
Dankoli’s action was said to have surprised other officers, who were aware of the Magistrate’s visit to the Command.
“This led to serious disagreement between ACP Dankoli and his second in command and there was confusion at the Command, which led to temporary break down of law and order over the shouting match between the two,” a source.
It was not certain if the matter has been resolved between the Police and the Lagos State Judiciary, which sent the Magistrate for the routine check at the Command.
A former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, on September 21, 2017, launched Force Order 20 to institutionalise the PDSS in the Force.
PDSS was conceived to address the crisis of irrational and pre-trial detention in police cells.
Police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin did not take his calls.
The Nigerian Bar Association Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC) Chairman, Chief Joe Kyari-Gadzama, SAN, in a statement yesterday, expressed its disgust at the treatment of the judicial officer.
“Our committee is presently making urgent efforts at verifying the facts and circumstances surrounding the instant report especially as it relates to the arrest and detention of the magistrate in question. This is to inform further steps, actions and/or decisions made from the standpoint of knowledge and information,” Kyari-Gadzama said.