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Police HQ sees nothing wrong with parading of 2-month-old baby in connection with armed robbery

By News Express on 04/04/2013

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The ongoing campaign to get the leadership of the Nigeria Police to investigate the recent parading of a two-month-old girl arrested with the mother and paraded in lieu of her alleged armed robber father may not yield fruit as the police leadership sees nothing wrong with act.

Activists have been on warpath since late March when Baby Oyinkansola was publicly paraded with the mother Fausat and five other alleged criminals by the Ogun State Police Command, South-West Nigeria.

Condemning the act, the Abuja-based Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) had described it as a “dastardly act that is totally unconstitutional, illegal and criminal and punish them administratively to serve as deterrent for future breach of the rights of the Nigerian children.”

To HURIWA, “Under no circumstances are the law enforcement officers allowed to parade a completely innocent two months old toddler whose only misfortune is that the child is a product of a very deprived and poor background. What the police has succeeded in doing is to destroy the dignity of this innocent child which runs contrary to all known civilised policing standards and practices.”

Following public outcry, News Express contacted police spokesman Frank Mba to find out what Inspector General of Police M.D. Abubakar was doing about the growing demand to investigate the matter and discipline those who paraded the innocent baby. Mba’s reply indicated that the police high command is not thinking along that line.

Said the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer: “Speak to Ogun Command PPRO. He will give you a true picture of the incident, please.”

Activists are however insisting that the matter must be investigated and action taken against whoever is found guilty. Already, social media activist Damilola Adegoke has been collecting signatures with a view to forcing the IGP to act on the matter.

“We need 80 more signatures,” he said yesterday. “We have to stop this Police high-handedness. Let us ask the Police Headquarters to sanction Ogun Police officers over parade of a two-month-old baby for armed robbery.”

Adegoke told News Esxpress last night that he was determined to see that justice is done to Baby Oyinkansola.

“We are demanding that the IG set up a committee comprising the police, the press and other neutral persons or agencies to investigate the matter because it is an injustice to parade an underage 15-year-old mother in the first place,” he said.

The activist said that beyond Baby Oyinkansola’s case, “we also demand that the inhumane attitude of parading yet to be convicted persons as criminals by the police should stop” because “people are presumed innocent until when convicted by the government.”

He berated the police high command, saying that it “obviously does not take the issue of human rights seriously in this country,” adding: “They subject journalists and activists to intimidation and in some extreme cases frame them up.”

•Photo shows Baby Oyinkansola and mother on the day they were paraded for alleged armed robbery.

Source News Express

Posted 04/04/2013 1:00:39 PM


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