Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Zubairu Muazu, has said that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper.
Muazu made the statement while speaking against corruption with policemen during the commissioning of a Statement Taking Room (STR) at the State Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme of the European Union (EU) had set up a statement taking room at the SCIID to enhance investigation.
According to the CP, it is an understatement that statement taking is important in police investigation, as it is the foundation of the process of investigation.
“I advise that we stay far away from corruption. It gives us bad name, as it is unprofessional and unethical.
“We have always said ‘bail is free’ and we mean it. I keep saying that any policeman who collects money for bail is not different from a kidnapper. The only difference is that everyone knows where you keep the suspects.
“The country is hard and we need the people more than they need us. Let us stay far from corruption,” he said.
Muazu commended the officer in charge of SCIID for her diligence and assured members of the public that the STR would be utilised effectively.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), SCIID, Panti, Yetunde Longe, said the SCIID was more than ready to embrace global best practices in investigation, as she commended RoLAC for the donation of equipment and training of officers attached to the department.
“This will in no small measure add value to our productivity. I want to assure the CP, the donor and other stakeholders that this facility will be judiciously utilised for the purpose for which it is donated.
“The vision and the mission of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, is ensuring that a diligent investigation is a task that must be accomplished,” she said.
The state’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, who was also at the event, expressed delight in witnessing the commissioning of the facility, which she described as very important in investigation.
To her, overtime, there had been issues on manners in which statement was taken from suspects, and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 has mandated the recording of statements.
She added that the police were not adequately equipped in statement taking before, and enjoined them to utilise the new facility in line with the police practice and the constitution.