In a rather unfortunate twist of fate, the four suspects alleged to have carried out bank robbery operations in Ikorodu, Lagos state, are demanding N5million from the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The suspects, who were paraded at the Lagos state police command, Ikeja on July 6, in connection with the much-publicised robbery incident in Ikorodu, were said to have dragged Arase before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, with the allegation that their confessional statements given out to journalists, were extracted from them behind their lawyer.
Naij.com had reported that the suspects, Agbojule Bright, Promise Abiwa, Monday Omoboye and Monday Ikuesan, confessed to have played different roles as a member of an 18-man gang which successfully robbed First and Zenith Banks in Ipakodo area of Ikorodu, and reportedly carted away about N80 million on June 24, 2015.
Vanguard reports that Barrister Akanbi, counsel to the suspects, filed a fundamental rights suit before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, claiming that the Police violated the right of the suspects to ‘remain silent’ or to avoid answering any questions until consultation with a legal practitioner or any person of their choice as stipulated by Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
He argued that his clients made confessional statements to newsmen under duress, emphasising also that the Police had no right to parade the suspects to be interviewed by the press “unless such a suspect wishes to give interview after the matter has been charged to a court of competent jurisdiction.”
Akanbi stressed that the suspects’ chance of getting a fair trial may have been reduced since they have “already suffered prejudice in the eye of the public due to unfair publicity and unprofessional acts of the defendants.
“The applicants’ counsel were not allowed to see the applicants even to have a brief interview when they visited the defendants on July 15, 2015.
“The applicants’ constitutional rights under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution are at stake because the defendants have already taken a bias position by denying the applicants’ family or their counsel their right of visiting them in police custody.
“It will be in the interest of justice if the applicants are brought before this honourable court so that the court can ascertain whether the applicants are still alive.
“It will be in the interest of justice if the applicants can be charged by the defendants to court since they have already spent over 24 hours in custody and failure to do this will amount to usurpation of the constitutional powers of the judiciary.”
He is now asking that the suspects be paid N5million against the defendants in their favour.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) also got new detectives after the robbery operation by the suspects.