By Ruth Oginyi
Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Awoshola Awotinde, has ordered immediate release of suspects in police custody with bailable offences across the state.
The police chief, however, warned officers in the state to stop unwarranted arrest in the state over the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
He noted that this is part of the precautionary measures to protect the command from the ravaging epidemic.
In a statement signed by the State Police Spokesperson, Loveth Odah, Awotinde said suspects who have criminal records like murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal offences should be properly screened before release.
The statement read, “Coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) has been a pandemic disease ravaging the globe since its outbreak. As a measure to control its spread in Nigeria, the Federal and various State Governments, including Ebonyi State Government, have imposed social restriction orders, while the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu , has ordered the strict enforcement of such legitimate orders given by various levels of Government and warned against the unnecessary arrest and detention of suspects.
“In light of the above, the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command, CP Awosola Awotinde, while admonishing the good People of Ebonyi State to willingly adhere to the legitimate orders and measures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus in the State, has directed all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Tactical/Operational Units of the Command to ensure the strict enforcement of the social restriction orders and other legitimate directives from the Federal and Ebonyi State Governments.
“Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police, while enjoining Officers and Men of the Command to observe personal safety measures, has directed them to stop forthwith any form of unwarranted arrest and detention of suspects in Police Cells within the Command. He also ordered the immediate release on bail of suspects who might have been detained for offences considered to be bailable.
” In line with this, suspects arrested for serious offences such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape/defilement and others capital offences, must be thoroughly screened before taken into Police custody to avoid the spread of the virus.
“The CP, while calling on the good citizens of Ebonyi State to remain vigilant and law-abiding in this trying moment, urges them to avoid crowded places, social visits to Police Stations, offices/ministries as well as reduce official visits. He further reassures all and sundry of the Command’s commitment to ensure the security and safety of lives and property in the State.
“Meanwhile, the Command can be contacted via Phone No. 07064515001, 07034232125 or 08064944617, in case of emergency.”