COVID-19: Command releases suspects in police stations, units

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Some suspects being detained in police stations and units under the Lagos State Police Command have been released due to the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had directed that suspects held for minor offences be released from police cells, while the Commissioner of Police in the state, Hakeem Odumosu, on Saturday directed all Divisional Police Officers to release minor offenders in their custody

During a visit to the Anti-Cultism Unit in the Gbagada area of the state on Tuesday, PUNCH Metro learnt that some minor offenders had been released from custody.

A source told our correspondent that the suspects were released to their family members in order to decongest the cells, while the suspects in high profile cases were still being held.

The source said, “We are not the only unit that released suspects; even the Special Anti-robbery Squad at the command headquarters and other divisions in the state have also released suspects held for minor offences.

“We are even rejecting some of the suspects with minor offences that they wanted to send to us from the SARS office, because we don’t know who is carrying the virus among them. We are being careful with those in our cell so as to prevent the spread of the disease and even those with serious cases, who are still in the cell, have been spaced and given hand sanitisers to use, because prevention is better than cure.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, told our correspondent that all police stations in the state had complied with the directive.

He stated, “We have monitored compliance with the directive and all stations across the state have complied with it; if you go to some of the stations, you will see empty cells, while some are just left with serious offenders.

“The IG’s statement was that Nigerians should reduce contact with the police and not that they should not come to the police. If you have a serious issue, you can go to the police station to report and we have made the telephone lines of each police station available so that people can call to report their matters instead of going to the stations.”

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