Above The Law: How Police Procure Fake Remand Orders To Detain Suspects

The Applicant was arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police sometime in July, 2021. A fundamental right action with suit No. FHC/CS/1549/2021 was filed on 8/12/2021 by Seprebofa M. Oyeghe Esq against the Nigerian Police Force and the Inspector General of Police.

Final Judgment was delivered by the Federal High Court Coram: Taiwo O. Taiwo on July 15, 2022 against the Police, declaring the arrest and detention unlawful and N15,000,000 damages.

Fake Remand Orders.

During the Pendency of the matter, the Police represented by Wisdom Madaki Esq., filed their counter affidavit alleging that they got 5 remand orders from the Senior Magistrate Court 2, Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

The Police alleged in their Counter-Affidavit thus: “we approached a court of competent jurisdiction for a Remand Order and the Court ordered his detention. Attached here are four Remand Orders Marked Exhibit NPF 3, 4, 5, & 6 respectively”.

The Applicant’s counsel, doubted the authenticity of the 5 remand orders due to the following:

  1. As there is an uncommon similarity in the handwriting across the 5 remand orders purportedly issued by the Court when it is common knowledge that a court has several clerks, and registrars.
  2. The case/charge number was never stated across the 5 remand orders.
  3. The offence upon which the purported remand orders were gotten from a Magistrate Court are capital offences triable only at the High Court and the Federal High Court.
  4. The duration, the number and frequency of the remand orders was strange since a remand order was supposed to be for a period not exceeding 14 days after the reason for the remand request is clearly stated via exparte application verified on oath.
  5. The instant purported remand orders span across 4-5 weeks each!
  6. The instant remand orders exceeded the mandatory 3 but ran into 5.

Also the duration exceeded the 14 days but ran into to 30-35 days each!

  1. The number of remand orders (being 5) exceeded the number any court can issue with respect to any suspect (being 3).

Doubting the authenticity of the remand orders, the Applicant’s Counsel Messers S. M. Oyeghe & Co, wrote a letter to the Court to confirm the remand orders.

The Court by its letter of April 12, 2022 disclaimed the orders thus: “though same purports to emanate from this court and bear our stamp, we are not aware of any such pending matter …and we are not responsible for the issue of the Remand orders which we hereby disclaim”

Disclaimer issued by the court on April 12, 2022.

Shockingly, the court by another letter of April 22, 2022 signed by the Magistrate Hon. Y. A. Dagana Esq, admitted issuing the 5 remand orders thereby disclaiming its previous disclaimer of April 12, 2022.

The above warranted another letter of April 28, 2022 for Certified True Copy of the exparte application for the remand orders, all processes and record of proceedings.

The Court orally denied issuing the said remand orders. The above warranted another letter of May 11, 2022 for the court to confirm in writing it issued the remand orders.

Disclaimer issued by the court on April 22, 2022.

The Court by its letter of May 12, 2022, again disclaimed issuing the remand orders in the following words: that contrary to the IGP letter of 22nd April, 2022 confirming the 5 remand orders, that having gone through the court’s records, it is established the case is not before the court hence the disclaimer. This disclaimer therefore supersedes any other (dis) claim earlier made in this matter.

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