Falana Advovates Adequate Funding Of Police, CCTV In Stations

Human Rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has called for

adequate funding for the police, saying it would be difficult for them

to uphold rule of law without funds.

Falana made the call at a training organised by the Committee for the

Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and the Lagos State Police Command for

senior cops.

“There is a need to sit with the Attorney General of the Federation

(AGF) for sufficient money to be availed the police for diligent

investigation. Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) are to be

installed in all police stations.

“Police stations are supposed to be given running grants but it is not.

They are made to depend on the public to assist. This is why

sometimes; it is about who pays the piper. It is not their fault but

the fault of the society.

“This is why I advise people clamouring for state police that certain

things must be put in place first. Is it a state that cannot pay

salary that will arm its police?

“There are equipment the police can use to check if weapons are kept

somewhere. This can be done through a radar. The same equipment can be

used to scan vehicles even from a distance to a checkpoint and so, the

police do not have to stop and start checking items.

“All these come at a cost and this is why the police must be properly

funded to perform their duty. Policemen do not have to stay on the

road to monitor traffic offenders.

“There are supposed to be cameras monitored from a control room. The

police do not have to be on the road arguing with offenders. Anyone

who commits traffic offence, should simply be posted his ticket at his

residence.

“We need to let the government know that you cannot police the road

without gadgets. You cannot deal with suspects without equipment. You

have to be very careful and be ahead of your suspects.

“The key to the success of the police is for government to fund them

adequately. When I was in Guinea Bissau, I noticed Nigeria Police men

on Peacekeeping mission there performed very well. This is because

they were well kitted and funded.”

Falana condemned the government for sending security operatives to

fight terrorists with inadequate weapons.

He said it was the responsibility of the police to contact families of

arrested suspects to notify them their relatives were being detained.

According to Falana, such calls should be at the expense of the

police, hence, another reason the agency need more funds.

He advocated for conjugal visits and access to telephone calls for

inmates, noting that visit by spouses would check issues of

homosexuality, lesbianism.

Falana said government was lucky because most Nigerians didn’t not

know their rights.

“You can sue the government for failing to protect your relative

especially if he’s a bread winner who died during a crisis,” he said.

Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal,

said there were plans for the establishment of 10 modern interrogation

rooms with state of the art recording devices.

Edgal said the approval for the facilities was given by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

“Gov. Ambode has awarded contract for the establishment of

interrogation rooms with recording devices in 10 Area Commands of the

state.

“The government has also approved a desk for police detectives at the

DNA centre so that they can go to crime scenes with experts whenever

the need arises.

“Edgal said: “The contract has been given out. I thank the governor

for supporting the police. Remember that the Administration of

Criminal Justice Law (ACJ) 2015 is Lagos law. Also, there is an Appeal

Court Judgement to the effect that statement of suspects must be

recorded.

“That was what the Attorney General of the Lagos State, Adeniji

Kazeem, put forward to the governor which gave rise to the 10 pilot

interrogation rooms we will soon have.

“They will be modern interrogation rooms where suspects’ statements

will be recorded. There will be interpreters and writing experts to

interpret statements from suspects’ language to English so that when

we get to court, we are fully prepared to state out facts clearly in

line with the law.”