Police, Lagos judiciary and burden of justice

There is the need for the Lagos State Police Command to overhaul its State Investigation Bureau (SIB), and crime branches of both divisional headquarters and area commands. It appears some officers and men compromise standard in order to satisfy the interests of either suspects or complainants who play to the gallery by way of giving gratification.

The recent rape allegation against one smart Chukwuma, a bus conductor who lives in Iyana Paja area of Lagos is a case in reference. The man came back from his daily conductor work that fateful afternoon, precisely on May 7, 2019, only to be accosted with rape allegation of a 19-year-old girl, daughter of one Grace, his neighbour. Smart Chukwuma, currently in Ikeja Medium Correctional Custodial Centre, stated that he was not given fair hearing as the Ikeja Area Command allegedly refused to be involved in the medical examination of the alleged victim in order to ascertain the facts of whether he Chukwuma committed the act or not since laboratory tests don’t lie as evidence could be found. But the police allegedly allowed only the victim’s mother to go to the hospital for the tests on her daughter’s private part. The issues here are;

  1. Who is the principal witness to the rape saga?
  2. Was Smart Chukwuma not taking his bath when the little girl shouted to her mother that mummy, he is around?
  3. Was the act committed before the 7th May 2019 or on that very day?
  4. Has Chukwuma not been living in that same neigbourhood for long?
  5. If the police claim he did it, where is their own copy of the medical report outside the one obtained by the victim’s mother?
  6. Is Smart Chukwuma not just innocently suffering for sins he did not commit and the police taking advantage of him as a mere bus conductor?
    Whether these questions raised are germane or not, at least, accurate answers are enough for the honourable justice of the Ikeja Court 4 to give fair hearing to Citizen Smart Chukwuma. Many Nigerians have overtime raised concerns on poor police investigations and subsequent faulty criminal justice administration where innocent citizens are convicted without committing the crimes they are accused of. It is, therefore,high time President Muhammadu Buhari overhauled and restructured the entire
    Nigeria Police Force. This is not the first time reports of lopsided investigation of cases due to interest by certain people either inside
    or outside are coming to public glare.

Whatever the case may be, let the case of Smart Chukwuma that is
presently before Ikeja High Court 4 be re-investigated for fair Justice and dispensation of equitable justice.

There is no crime for anyone defending his or her right, no matter what. One is not in anyway holding brief for the suspect. After all, he is not in anyway related to me or my religion but acting as a defender of the forts and rights of every Nigerian, Irrespective of tribe, religion and class. Innocent until proven guilty, Chukwuma, a bus conductor, is presently being remanded with skirmishes on how the case is being handled.
Severally, he is allegedly denied taken to court whenever the case comes up
after adjournment which itself exposes the connivance and conspiracy theory on this matter. The world would want to know and see the police medical report obtained from any clinic or hospital regarding the victim.

As an Ambassador of the Salute Nigeria Initiative Three In One Campaign Against Insecurity, Covid-19 and Gender Violence, I have always opposed any act of rape by whoever. As such, I cannot be accused of holding brief for Smart Chukwuma. The appeal I am making is for the case to be re-investigated for fairness and justice.

We have seen in the past where innocent Nigerians fall prey to enemies’ net by getting them framed up on rape and other related accusations except if such suspects get divine intervention from God.
The chief judge of Lagos state, director of public prosecution and the Lagos state commissioner of police should deem it necessary to review this case. Some highly placed forces are making possible the subversion of justice. Whatever the outcome may be, we are not going to relent until Smart Chukwuma is given fairplay and hearing because he has already suffered enough for, according to him, a crime he did not commit. Every suspect remains innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.

Citizen Smart Chukwuma even though a conductor is a bona fide Nigerian like any other Nigerian. I have fought for the rights of different classes of people since my sojourn in the activist world. In the course of doing that, tribe, class and religion are not consideration to me. Thus, my intervention when the issue of Smart Chukwuma was mentioned to me by a police officer who felt the man was not given fair hearing, his case poorly investigated and refused to be taken to court as at when due.

There are so many other cases like that of Citizen Chukwuma. The inspector general of police, Lagos state chief judge and the Lagos state director of public prosecutions should please call for the case
file in order to correct the issues. And in the reviewing of the case, if Citizen Chukwuma is found wanting, let the law take its course
which I believe cannot even be. The sweetness of democracy is for every citizen to enjoy fundamental human right, freedom of expression
and association.

Lagos state judiciary as well as the police command, area commands as well as the divisional offices need to be overhauled for efficiency and fair dispensation of justice, policing and investigation where all party interests will be satisfied and not poor investigation as a result of corruption, manipulation and double standards.
Mahmud writes from Abuja.

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