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Rights Group CRRAN, Petitions Enugu Gov. Mbah Over Continued Unlawful Detention Of 16 Yr. Old Student By Police

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Human rights organization, operating under the platform of  Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), has sought the intervention of Enugu state governor, Dr. Peter  Mbah, over the continued unlawful detention of a 16 year old boy and secondary  school student at the state police  headquarters  since October 2023, till date.

.The  group, in a petition  addressed to the governor for his  urgent  intervenion,  and copied to the State Commissioner of police, CP  Kanayo Uzoegbu,  Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Kingsley Udeh, and mada available to  African Examiner on Thursday in Enugu, described the police action as clear violation of the Child Rights Act 2023.

In the petition  signed by its president, Olu Omotayo (Esq), CRRAN, regretted that the Senior Secondary School (SS2,) student studies has been disrupted since 9th, of October 2023, he has been in police detention.

The document read thus: “We write to you in respect of the above-mentioned matter on behalf of an SS2 student in one of the secondary schools in the state, who has been in Police detention at the State Police Headquarters Enugu since 9th October 2023.

Mr. and  Mrs. Eze, the distressed parent of the detained child had told the organization that a family friend of theirs, and complainant to the police, “one Mrs. Blessing Erede, who attends same church with them, by virtue of which children of both families exchanged visits, but due to an altercation between them and Mrs. Erede, she came with police to their house on 9th October 2023, and alleged that their child rape her 16 year old child named Mary peace sometimes in May 2023 and also in June 2023.

According to CRRAN, “the Ezes’ further revealed  that since 9th October 2023, when their son was detained he has not been able to go back to school.

“They further stated that all efforts to settle the matter were rebuffed by Mrs. Erede, who insisted that their son must go to jail, even the intervention of the father of the victim Mr. Erede a serving Police officer could not secure the release of the detained child as his estranged wife Blessing insisted that police should not release the detained child.

The Ezes’ further stated that despite the fact that the victim denied that she was raped, and her father Mr. Erede stated that there was  no rape; and also there was no medical examination/ Report to support rape, the Police decided to charge the child to court for rape.

“Mr. Erede not supporting what his wife was doing went further to depose to an affidavit before a Notary Public, stating that there was no iota of truth in the issue of rape raised by his wife but a ploy to extort money from the Eze family. The said affidavit is attached to this petition.

“The Police charged the child to court on the 26th October 2023, in Charge No. MEN/384C/2023, on a two count charge of rape. The lawyer to the child G.S.K Iriaka, raised objection to the arraignment of the Juvenile and the presiding Magistrate, His Worship J.I. Agu adjourned the matter to 1st November 2023, for argument.

“On the 1st November 2023, the court took argument on the matter and the child’s lawyer pointed out that by virtue of 207, 212, 216, 217 and 226 of the Child Rights Law, Enugu State, the child cannot be tried as an adult offender.

” The Learned Magistrate thereafter directed that the OC Legal of the state Police Headquarters should resolve the matter between the parties and secure the release of the detained child.

“The Ezes’ said they have been going to the office of the OC Legal, but were not able to meet the financial demands made on them.

“According to them The OC Legal demanded Five hundred thousand Naira; the Investigating Police Officer Nwosu demanded Two hundred thousand Naira, while the complainant also demanded Five hundred thousand Naira.

“As the Ezes’ could not satisfy the demands of the police and the complainant, they have written to the office of the Honorable Attorney General vide a letter submitted to his office on 4th December 2023, wherein they sought justice.

The rights group therefore,  prayed the governor to use his good office to intervene in the matter so as to ensure that justice is done in respect of the circumstance of the case demands.

“We believe that the continued detention of the child at the Police Headquarters Enugu for over 3, months is a grave violation of rights of a Nigerian Child and the refusal of the Police to admit him to bail is not only worrisome but also a clear assault on the Administration of Criminal Justice in the state and Nigeria as a whole.

The organization concluded thus:  “We earnestly seek your intervention in this matter”

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=93286

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