Lagos ag cautions police on illegal detention

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The Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State Mr Ade Ipaye has advised the police against the detention of persons without duly informing the Judiciary.

Ipaye gave this advice at a training  on the Enforcement of fundamental Human Rights organised for lawyers in the state by his Ministry in collaboration with the Lawgate Training Consultants.

He stressed that the detention of any person, which does not follow due process is an infringement on their fundamental human rights of the person so detained.

The Attorney-General explained that the training became necessary  to ensure that practitioners are  grounded on  the basic principles and rules relating to fundamentyal human rights such that when one is called to make a claim on behalf of indigent citizens, one would not make unnecessary mistakes.

While urging participants to have a thorough look at these laws to avoid these mistakes, Ipaye further said the training would help to equip the Judiciary on the concept of Fundamental Human Rights and the related rules available in Nigeria. He emphasised that the Judiciary must ,therefore, be equipped to meet up with these challenges in the system.

Mr Femi Falana (SAN), in his paper entitled: A rank study of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcements Procedure Rules 2009 stated that the 2009 rules are revolutionary in every respect as it has overruled the 1979 rules, which had the Application of Leave as a condition precedent for the enforcement of fundamental human right.

On the right of corporate bodies to enforce fundamental human right, Falana (SAN) argued that, therefore, it is erroneous to say that they cannot enforce fundamental human rights in view of the fact that  companies are made up of human beings who run their affairs.

He said the right of companies and other corporate bodies to secure the enforcement of fundamental human right has been successfully challenged some of decided cases.

He said the position of the  court is based on a nature of fundamental right, which has to do with the protection of rights of human beings, adding that this is a departure from such a restrictive interpretation of the law.

Speaking on Limitations of action, the Human Right activist explained that an application to secure the enforcement of fundamental Human Rights cannot be statute barred because of the significance attached to Human Right which has been said to stand above ordinary laws of the land, which cannot be taken away from anybody without affront to justice.

Falana also mentioned that apart from enforcing fundamental human right in a High Court in any of the States of the Federation, any person whose fundamental human right has been violated in Nigeria may file a complaint at the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul, Gambia, adding that, alternatively, an aggrieved person who is a citizen of a member state of Economic Community of West Africa States, (ECOWAS) may file an application before the community court of Justice for the enforcement of the human right enshrined in the Africa Charter.

He, therefore, called on legal officers in the State and Commissioner of Police to familiarise themselves with the law and practice of High Court on human rights to reduce the volume of cases alleging human right violations in the State.

Mr Dele Belgore (SAN) said those in the legal profession are trained to defend the rights of the citizens and, therefore, called on lawyers to always fight for peoples right.


In : Lagos

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