Lekki Bank Robbery Suspect Held in Detention, Sues Police For N1m!

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One of the four suspects paraded by the police in
connection with the March 12, 2015 robbery of the Lekki
branch of First City Monument Bank, Ebi Tosan, has sued the
police. He is seeking N1m as damages.

He claimed that it was unlawful for the police to continue to
keep him in detention without admitting him to bail.

Tosan, who was paraded by the police along with three
others – Duke Odogbo, 38; Lawrence Kingsley, 31; and
Ekelemo Kuete, 30 – is seeking an order directing the police
to immediately release him on bail.

The suspect’s lawyer, Chief S.W. Baidi, argued that the
suspect’s continued detention without bail was an
“infringement and curtailment of the applicant’s
constitutional right to personal liberty, freedom of
movement and presumption of innocence.”

Tosan is seeking a declaration that his arrest, torture and
continued detention by the State Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja,
without bail was a violation of his human rights, preserved
by sections 34(1)(a), 35(1)(4) and Section 41 of the 1999
constitution.

In a 26-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the originating
summons, one Tamuno Amos, who described himself as the
suspect’s uncle, said that his nephew’s continued detention
by the police was a deliberate act to “extract a confessional
statement from him on the alleged offence.”

Amos, who said he had not been allowed to see his nephew
since his arrest, claimed that “the applicant is suffering on
daily basis without access to food, bath and other
conveniences and he may die in custody if not granted bail.”

The suspect had on July 9 secured an order of Justice
Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja,
directing the police to produce him in court on July 16.

On Thursday, however, when the matter came up, the police
did not bring the suspect to court and his originating
summons slated for hearing could not be heard.

Okunnu, while adjourning hearing of the application till
October 22, however, ordered that the Lagos State Attorney
General should be joined as a respondent. She added that if
there was any urgency, the applicant could appear before
October 22 before another judge who would be sitting
during the court’s annual vacation, which begins next week.

The original respondents in the suit are the Lagos State
Commissioner of Police and the Head of SARS, Ikeja, Abba
Kyari.

In the said robbery on Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos, a gang
of armed robbers, which Tosan and others allegedly
belonged to, reportedly stormed FCMB in the afternoon of
March 12, wearing military uniform and engaged the police
in a gun battle before carting away about N15m from the
bank.

About five persons, including three policemen and a fish
hawker, were reportedly killed while several others
sustained injuries during the shooting spree said to have
lasted about 30 minutes.

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