The Lagos House of Assembly has passed an amended version of the Criminal Justice Law of the state. This bars the police from parading suspects before the media.
The bill was passed on Monday, at a sitting presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
“As from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media,” Section 9(A) of the newly passed bill states. The bill further stipulates conditions under which a policeman can arrest without a warrant.
Such a person must be reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments. A subsection of the bill also barred the police or any other agency from arresting a person “in lieu of any other person in a criminal matter.”
The bill adds that a person who is arrested “shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defence or release”. The bill stipulates that suspects should be accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity.
They must not be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and be brought before the court as within a short period. After a voice vote, the Deputy Speaker directed the acting Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the bill to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.