In a significant development, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Gowon Estate Division in Lagos State has been promptly removed following allegations of detaining a lawyer advocating for his client. The removal was ordered by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, who cited the need for a comprehensive review of the case by supervisory authorities.
The decision to remove the DPO was confirmed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, in a statement issued on Wednesday. Hundeyin revealed that the removal was a direct outcome of investigations into the accusations against the DPO. Pending further review by higher authorities, the officer is temporarily relieved of duty.
The investigation was initiated following a publication that detailed the detention of Lagos-based lawyer Olumide Sonupe, who was hospitalized after seeking the bail of his client at the Moshalashi Police Station in the Alimosho area on December 30, 2023. The lawyer’s detention prompted the Commissioner of Police to take swift action, ensuring a thorough examination of the matter.
Commissioner Fayoade is actively engaging in efforts to foster better police-lawyer relations, instructing the Officer in Charge (OC) Legal of the command to collaborate with the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos State Branch. The objective is to facilitate a round-table discussion, aiming to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in the future.
Emphasizing the commitment to upholding the rule of law, the police spokesperson reiterated that the command will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against any officer found culpable of misconduct. This move signals a dedication to accountability and a desire to maintain a harmonious relationship between law enforcement and legal professionals.
As the situation unfolds, the removal of the DPO serves as a clear message that the Lagos State Police Command is vigilant in addressing allegations of misconduct and is actively working towards creating an environment where justice is not only served but is seen to be served.