Falana sues Nigerian Police, EFCC, AGF, others over media parade of suspects

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HUMAN rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare that pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects by security and anti-corruption agencies in the country as illegal and unconstitutional. The court is yet to fix a date for hearing of the matter.

Cited as Respondents in the suit were the Inspector General of Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Navy, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, as well as the Attorney General of the Federation. Specifically, Falana is seeking, “A declaration that the pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects by the Respondents is illegal, null and void as it violates Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“A declaration that the pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects is illegal, null and void as it violates Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. “A declaration that pre-trial media parade of criminal suspects by the Respondents has been prohibited by Section 2(xi) of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017. Likewise, “An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents whether by themselves, their agents, privies and servants from further exposing criminal suspects to media parade in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.” Canvassing reasons why the court should stop media parade of suspects, the Plaintiff argued that by the provision of section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until proved guilty.

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