By Dipo Olowookere
The alleged illegal detention of a nursing mother, Mrs Rofiat Oladepo, and her nine-month old son by the Zone 11 of the Nigeria Police Force has been kicked against by an interest group known as Women Arise for Change Initiative.
It was reliably gathered that the nursing mother was arrested alongside her son by the security operatives in lieu of her husband.
On Monday, April 29, 2019 in Osogbo, Osun State, the group staged a protest to call for the immediate release of the woman and her son from police custody.
The protest, which was led by the President of Women Arise, Mrs Joe Okei-Odumakin, had over 200 women and men protesters who defied the scorching sun to express their displeasure over the detention of Mrs Oladepo and her son, a minor.
The organization described the action of the police as a violation of the victims’ universally recognised fundamental human rights and the law of the land.
In her remarks, while being received by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the Zone, AIG Leye Oyebade and his management team, Mrs Okei-Odumakin asserted that, “We are pained and disappointed that the Nigeria Police held in custody a nursing mother and her baby, in lieu of her husband.
“Not only were they arrested and detained by proxy, they were also detained beyond the constitutionally sanctioned period (24 hours). It is most nauseating to learn that Mrs Oladepo and her baby, who were arrested on April 24, 2019 at Dural Toaheed, Oke Anu area of Ede and taken to Zone 11, Gbogan road, Oshogbo, were kept in inhuman conditions, only to be released later and given the sum of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) only as their transport fare back to Ede”.
The human rights activist further informed AIG Oyebade that since their release from police custody, Mrs Oladepo and her baby have been hospitalised.
She, therefore, demanded that the officers and men of the Nigerian police who conducted such unprofessional and illegal act be unmasked and brought to book while also requesting for the payment of medical bills being incurred by the victims at the hospital and that the police should issue an immediate public apology to Mrs Oladepo and her 9-months old son.
While responding to the demands of Women Arise President, AIG Oyebade appealed to the protesters to please stay further action as he would carry out immediate investigation into the matter and ensure that justice was done forthwith.
“One of the hallmarks of our ethics is policing with the fear of God aside the general rule of policing with integrity,” AIG Oyebade said.
He further said that such impunity would never be allowed to thrive under his purview, as he further expressed the willingness of the Nigeria Police Force, under the incumbent leadership, to collaborate with the civil society in promoting a people’s friendly police force that will ensure total compliance with human rights violations.
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