Activists condemn parade of two-month old baby as robbery suspect

The group dismissed the action as atrocious, primitive and a total breach of the fundamental human rights of a Nigerian child.

A Non-Governmental Organization, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has strongly condemned the recent action of the Ogun State Police command of parading a two-month old baby, the mother and a teenager for alleged robbery committed by the father of the toddler.

The group also demanded that the Federal Government fish out the Police officers responsible for “this 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.”

The Police in Abeokuta recently paraded a two-month old baby, his mother, Fausat Adeosun, and his fifteen-year old brother over an alleged robbery committed by their father, Ismail Adeosun. The family was arrested after the suspect fled his home on arrival of the Police.

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The Ogun State Police Commissioner, Ikemefuna Aduba, reportedly told the media that Mrs. Adeosun and her teenage son were arrested for allegedly “keeping a gun for her husband.” However, Mrs. Adeosun claimed that she was no longer married to the suspect and had consistently asked Mr. Adeosun to get rid of the gun. She added that one of the suspect’s brother had been in the process of removing the gun from their house at the time of their arrest.

The NGO, in a statement signed jointly by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, faulted the primitive and unconstitutional practice of parading crime suspects before they are properly charged to the competent courts of law.

“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,” the statement read. “What the police has succeeded in doing is to destroy the dignity of this innocent child which runs contrary to all known civilized policing standards and practices.”

The group thereafter demanded the appropriate sanction for “this outrageous breach.”

“We totally condemn this evil practice of continuous public parade of crime suspects even before they are properly charged to competent courts of law. The operatives of the Nigeria Police must be made to comply to international human rights standards and practice by ensuring that the right crime suspects are arrested and scientific and forensic evidence generated by the police in an atmosphere of professional competence devoid of the usual obtaining of confessional statements by duress.

“The concern of the police should not be to engage in media celebration of their so-called gallantry but must focus on effective and efficient law enforcement mechanism which will culminate in the successful trials and conviction of all crime suspects,” it said.

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