The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu Tuesday warned that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper. CP Muazu made the statement while speaking against corruption being perpetrated by policemen during the commissioning of a Statement Taking Room (STR) at the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba. The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) programme under the European Union had set up a statement taking a room at the SCIID to enhance police investigation.
The CP who commended ROLAC for the initiative added that it was an understatement to say statement taking is important in the police investigation as it is a foundation in the process of investigation. “I will advise that we stay far away from corruption. It gives us a bad name as it is unprofessional and unethical. “We have always said bail is free and we mean it. I keep saying it that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper. The only difference is that everyone knows where you keep the suspects.
“The country is hard and we need people more than they need us. Let us stay far from corruption. ” Muazu commended police officer in charge of the SCIID, for her diligence and assured members of the public that STR would be utilised effectively. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, SCIID, Panti, DCP Yetunde Longe, said the SCIID was more than ready to embrace the world best practice in the investigation as she commended ROLAC for the donation of equipment and training of officers attached to the department. “This will in no small measure add value to our productivity.
I want to assure the CP, the donor and other stakeholders that this facility will be judiciously utilised for the purpose for which it is intended. “The vision and the mission of the IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu in ensuring a diligent investigation is a task that must be accomplished,” she said. The Lagos State Direct of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs Titilayo Shitta-Bey who was also at the event said she was delighted to witness the commissioning of the facility which she described as very important in an investigation.
She said over time there had been issues on manners in which statement is being taken from suspects and the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws 2015 has mandated the recording of statements. She added that the police was not adequately equipped in statement taking before and enjoined them to utilise the newly donated facility in line with the police practice and the Nigeria Constitution. Mrs Ajibola Ademakinwa, the State Programme Coordinator for Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme said the programme was to enhance good governance, curb corruption and ensure in Nigeria.
“This is why we work and partner with the police to ensure critical laws are adhered to. We identified gaps in these laws and worked with the police to set this up. “We are looking at setting up more Statement Taking Rooms in Lagos as we look out to the effective use of the facility.”