Niger State Chief Judge, Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik has ordered the arrest of a police prosecutor from the Magistrate Court in Izom, Gurara local government of the state over the alleged unlawful imprisonment of a suspect, Suleiman Musa.
It was gathered that the accused person was detained at the Suleja Correctional Centre without the knowledge of the presiding Magistrate based on the First Information Report, FIR.
This was discovered by the CJ during the examination of cases of awaiting-trial inmates.
She found that the First Information Report on which the accused person was being kept was not signed by the presiding Magistrate.
However, upon further investigation on the matter, Abudulmalik observed that the Presiding Magistrate has never seen the accused in her court even as the remand warrant was said to have been forged.
In her defence, the presiding Magistrate told the CJ that the suspect has never been arraigned in her court before.
” I have never seen the accused nor this First Information Report. I also did not sign it, I am not aware of it”.
Hence, the CJ asked the police prosecutor, Inspector Mohammed of the Magistrate Court to explain how the issue was handled that led to the incarceration of the suspect for about two months at the Suleja Correctional custody.
But, the police prosecutor was not able to offer a satisfactory explanation on the FIR saying that he could not identify the signature of the presiding magistrate. This complicated his offence.
The Chief Judge expressed concern over the development while describing it as unacceptable and an infringement on the fundamental rights of individuals.
Justice Abudulmalik ordered the arrest of the police prosecutor and directed the second in command of the Police Legal Department, Abdullahi Maiyaki to immediately redeploy him from court appearances.
Speaking, the suspect, Suleiman Musa explained that he was arrested alongside some friends by the police two months ago and detained in the correctional centre without being arraigned in court, while his friends were taken to court and granted bail.