Marwa warns NDLEA operatives against illegal detention of suspects

The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Marwa (retd.), has warned commanders, officers and men of the agency against the detention of suspects beyond the period allowed by law.

Marwa also warned the operatives against arresting relations, spouses or acquaintances of suspected drug offenders, often referred to as hostage arrests.

According to a statement on Saturday by the agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babademi, the chairman gave the directive in the reviewed operations and investigations guidelines to all commands of the agency across the country.

He noted that the order must be strictly adhered to in line with the constitutional provisions on the arrest and detention of suspects.

Marwa said, “Arrangements must be made for the filing of charges in court within 24 or 48 hours as may be applicable. Where this is not possible, a detention order must be procured from the Federal High Court for the continuous detention of an arrested person.

“Investigations in all cases must be concluded not later than one week and in all cases of raids, all non-culpable suspects must be separated from those culpable and released immediately.”

The NDLEA boss equally demanded that all prosecutors must ensure prompt filing of charges and arraignment of suspects.

He added, “The agency and its personnel shall in the course of arrest and search respect the dignity of the human person of the suspect. Accordingly, a suspect shall not in any way be ill-treated. Leg chain and handcuffs may only be used where the person is violent and/or resistant to arrest such that reasonable force is required to restrain him/her.”

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