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IGP Warns Against Arbitrary Arrests, Detention of Covid-19 Suspects

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu

By Gom Mirian, Abuja

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) of Police and Commissioners of Police (CPs) across the country to ensure that cases of unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects are not condoned.

The IGP gave the warning in a statement made available to DAILY ASSET by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba yesterday in Abuja.

Adamu reiterates that detention of suspects must be reduced to the barest minimum and that only very serious cases such as terrorism, armed robbery, homicide and other non-bailable offences should warrant detention.

He further directs that adequate measures be emplaced to screen persons to be committed into police custody.

“The IGP enjoins citizens to avoid social visits to police stations and other police offices and minimize official visits, except where absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, the IGP has ordered Command CPs to immediately publicize phone numbers of their Command Control Rooms, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other Tactical Commanders using the conventional and non- conventional media in order to facilitate alternative interacting and reporting options between the Public and the Police,” the statement read.

According to Mba, the IGP while urging citizens to voluntarily adhere to the orders, said he has ordered the Immediate closure of the Nigerian Police Academy as well as police primary and secondary schools nationwide.

“In compliance with the Federal Government’s directive that all tertiary institutions be shut, the IGP has ordered the immediate closure of the Nigeria Police Academy as well as all Police Primary and Secondary Schools nationwide. Meanwhile, the Force Medical Services has been empowered and directed to step up sensitization programmes across Commands, Formations and Barracks in the country”. He said

Inspector General of Police, Mr Muhammad Adamu, yesterday said the police would commence screening of criminal suspects for possible traits of coronavirus before sending them into detention.

Consequently, only hardened criminal suspects would now be recommended for detention in police cells across the country.

The police chief directed that “adequate measures be emplaced to screen persons to be committed into police custody,” police spokesperson Frank Mba said in a statement Sunday evening. “He reiterates that detention of suspects must be reduced to the barest minimum and that only very serious cases such as terrorism, armed robbery, homicide and other non-bailable offences should warrant detention.”

Mr Adamu also said all police colleges and other training facilities have been closed in compliance with federal directive on closure of all public schools.

The directive comes as Nigeria faces an increasing number of COVID-19 infections alongside other countries across the world.

Governments at all levels have been imposing a wide array of measures aimed at slowing down the spread of the highly contagious disease, with the police as the first law enforcement authority saddled with enforcement.

Social distancing, which involves staying home, avoiding large gatherings and abstaining from touching one another, has been strongly recommended towards tacking the virus.

Mr Adamu said the police would enforce existing government advisory and observe all public safety guidelines as enumerated by health institutions and experts across the world.

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