There was mid-drama and confusion on Tuesday, February 18, at Oredo magistrates’ Court, Benin City, as Nigerian Correctional Service officials and state police command officials disagreed over who take custody of a defendant, Chuks Moses.
The defendant was arraigned for an attempt to commit felony and malicious damage of security electric wire valued N250,000, but pleaded not guilty.
Consequently, Magistrate, Ivie Akere admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N80,000 with one surety in like sum, adding that the surety must residence within jurisdiction.
However, the defendant could not perfect the bail condition, but the men of Nigerian Correctional Service, Oko, refused to take the defendant along with them because of an injury in his leg and head.
They said that the injury sustained by defendant was not minor.
However, the Investigating Police officer (IPO), Inspector Fowobaje Taiwo, brought out the defendant’s Central Hospital card and drugs as evidence that he was receiving treatment, that he cannot take him back to police station.
He added that the defendant sustained injuries when mob were chasing him and that he spent his money to pay his medical bills.
In his part, the police prosecutor, ASP Patrick Agbonifo, told the Nigerian Correctional Service men that the police has done their part by arresting and arraigning the suspect, adding that it was the duty of correctional service to take charge of defendant.
The Magistrate, however, asked the IPO to accompanied the correctional service men to government hospital where the defendant was treated.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Correctional Service, said that they do not admit inmates that sustained major injuries without evidence of proper treatment.
He said it was a new development.