Nigerian Police Illegally Detain U.S. Citizens For 44 Days

March 27, 2021
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Kari O’Rourke, a U.S. citizen, has been released from police custody in Lagos, following her illegal arrest and detention over a murder allegation.

She was illegally arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force for 44 days for the death of her Nigerian host.

According to Channels TV, Ms O’Rourke’s legal representation, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, confirmed her release in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Adegboruwa, who shared a photograph he took with O’Rourke after her release, said she regained her freedom on Wednesday.

She was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on February 8 as she was about to depart the country.

The autopsy report, following investigation, revealed that the host died of heart trauma and cardiac arrest.

Mr Adegboruwa’s services were then engaged to challenge her detention when it proved abortive to get her released on bail. A suit was filed at the Lagos Division of the Federal High on March 18.

In the suit, Ms O’Rourke sought declarations against her arrest and detention, an order for her immediate release, and N100 million damages against the police.

It was discovered that Ms O’Rourke’s case file had been sent to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and that a legal opinion had been issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions, saying that there was no prima facie case, hence there was no basis for prosecution.

This discovery facilitated her release.

The document dated March 5, 2021, and signed by the DPP, noted, “In the light of the above, this office shall not prosecute the suspects … for the offences of conspiracy to murder and murder … They should, therefore, be discharged and released if still in custody, as there is no case to be established against them from the facts presented in the duplicate case file.”

Mr Adegboruwa appealed to the police to show greater respect for the rights of citizens and condemned the police’s failure to comply with directives from the Ministry of Justice.

The police in Nigeria are notorious for extortion, brutality, and other human rights violations, particularly its SARS unit, now disbanded.

Hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youths protested, for several days, the extortion and brutality they suffer in the hands of policemen in the country.

Various reforms, even in the wake of the #EndSARS movement and eventual protests, have not stopped the incorrigible Nigerian policemen from brutalising and extorting Nigerians, even foreigners.

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