A high court in Ilorin, Kwara state, has asked Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police, to appear in person before Wednesday to justify the continued detention of Lekan Alabi, personal assistant to Abdulfatah Ahmed, governor of Kwara.
The case was taken to Ilorin following the refusal of a federal high court in Abuja to hear it as the alleged crime was committed in Kwara.
Alabi was arrested in May, over the April 5, 2018 armed robbery attack in Offa.
Since his arrest, the governor’s aide has not been arraigned before any court.
Speaking with journalists after the court proceeding, Adelodun Ibrahim, lead counsel to the suspect, said the police had refused to release Babatunde AbdulWahab, chief of staff to Kwara state governor, who was also arrested over the same incident.
A court granted him bail earlier in the week.
Adelodun described the refusal as worrisome, saying it “portends grave dangers to the deepening of democracy and might lead to a loss of confidence in the fairness of the police to handle such cases among the populace”.
“We are not asking the court to declare our client guilty or innocent at this stage but the police has no right to keep a suspect forever,” he said.
The police were not represented at the proceeding, though Adelodun told the court they had been served all the processes related to the case.
Adebayo Yusuf, the judge, said there was nothing in the constitution that allows the detention of a suspect without trial for a period beyond 24 hours where there is a court or 48 hours in an environment with no court.
He, however, decided to allow the police another opportunity to defend its position, following the ruling on an interim bail application filed for the suspect by his counsel.
He said: “The position of the law is as stated by the leaned silk, however I’m inclined to hear from the respondent to come to court and show cause why the applicant should not be released from their custody, since they have been served the motion on notice.”
According to the police, the suspects arrested in connection with the robbery confessed that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ahmed provided them with arms, an allegation both men denied.
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