Falana Disagrees With Police On Kwara Suspects' Transfer

Date: 2018-05-20
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has disagreed on an order by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for the transfer of suspects arrested in Kwara State over allegations of murder and criminal conspiracy.

The lawyer made his positions known in an interview on Friday

The police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, had said the suspects were transferred to Abuja for further investigation in the allegations levelled against them.

On whether the IGP's order for the suspects’ transfer to Abuja was lawful, Falana said it was not unusual for the investigation of criminal cases to be transferred from any of the states of the federation to Abuja, adding that the action would not stop the prosecution of such cases in the states where offences were committed.

According to the SAN, the investigation of cases can be transferred to Abuja "if, for instance, the Inspector General of Police receives a petition that there is manipulation of such cases at the local or zonal level."

"In this particular instance, since the police claim that these criminal suspects have made confessional statements, the investigation should be speedily concluded so that all those who are indicted are charged to court.

"Under the law, you cannot charge them to court in Abuja, they have to be charged to court where the offence was committed but on a regular basis in Nigeria, every state police command is regularly directed to send case files to Abuja based usually on petitions, either by the complainant or the accused person that manipulation is suspected locally or at the zonal level.

"I have handled cases in Kwara where my clients were referred to Abuja as suspects and that is my experience in all states of the country. But at the end of the every investigation, the case file is sent to the Attorney General of the Federation, who will advise the police to charge to court. If it is a state offence, the suspect will be charged in the state High Court and if it is a federal offence, the suspect will be charged in the appropriate Federal High Court," he told the Punch

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