Saturday, 4 June 2022

I Was Not Detained In Police Cell...Embattled Lagos Chief Magistrate


A Lagos Chief Magistrate, Mushin Court 1, Mrs. Matepu yesterday denied being detained at Area D Command, Mushin.

Mrs. Matepu stated this in a virtual statement issued to give clarification on the face-off she had with the Area Commander, Aliko Dankoli, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)

The incident between them happened last Monday when she went on a routine check of suspects in the cell, based on Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) to decongest the police cells.

The Chief Magistrate who admitted that “something happened”, explained that what happened was “not as bad as it was narrated” in online and newspaper publications.

She stated: “I just want everybody to know that, yes, something happened but not as bad as it was narrated.

“I went on a Police visit to Mushin and the Area Commander insisted that I should seek his approval or get his approval before I can interrogate the suspects in the cells.

“I insisted it shouldn’t have gone that way and I put it to him that that is the way I do my job. So, I stood my ground and insisted that I must complete my job and that it is his officers that must report to him after I had finished my job.

“I said that if there is any basis or any need to see him that is when I would see him. I am not supposed to see him first.

“Though, he agitated and started complaining.

“Immediately, the second day, I came to the High Court to report the issue to Mr. Fadeyi who called him out to order.

“He warned him and told him he was going to make arrangements for him to apologise.

“So that was the situation before the news that went viral about th? situation. There was no arrest or detention.

“Mrs. Matepu is fine and everything was ìn order. I think th? High court is taking proper steps on the issue”, she stated.

The Lagos State Police Command in its reaction to the development stated that there was no truth in the report by online publications that the Chief Magistrate was detained in the cell at Area D Command.

The statement signed by Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ikeja, Benjamin Hundeyi,  stated in part: “At no time did the Area Commander detain or attempt to detain the magistrate, who was at the Area Command for Cell Inspection exercise. The Police will never engage in such disrespect to the Judiciary.

“The writer referring to a serving magistrate as ‘the innocent woman’ says a lot about his objectivity/bias and contrived efforts at sensationalism.

Also, it is suspicious that the writer could not provide the name of the magistrate, who is a public officer. It is equally suspicious that the writer made no attempt to contact the judiciary to verify the purported detention.

“The Lagos State Police Command did the needful and contacted the judiciary. The Lagos State Judiciary confirmed that there was no such thing and neither was the magistrate prevented from carrying out her Cell Inspection exercise.

“We hereby state it unequivocally that any attempt to cause disaffection between the Police and the Judiciary will be fiercely resisted.

“We remain worthy partners in the justice sector.

The Lagos State Police Command urged Lagosians to disregard the story “as officers and men under the stewardship of CP Abiodun Alabi, will continue to be professional and uphold the rule of law at all times.

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