Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

African refugee suspected of fraud freed from police custody

A Nigerian man who has been unlawfully detained for a week has been released on his own reconnaissance after his lawyer put forward an application before the court citing that his constitutional rights were being breached.

A number of Africans who have been stranded on the island claim that they gave money to one of their own to assist in getting a charter flight back to Nigeria.

They however allege that the individual took their money and never arranged for their departure.

The police began investigating the matter and were led to a house in Crosbies where they found a large sum of US and EC dollars.

They arrested a Nigerian man who is in his 30s on February 15 and kept him behind bars while they continued their investigation.

According to the constitution, a person “who is not released shall be brought before the court within forty-eight hours after his detention and, in computing time for the purposes of this subsection, Sundays and public holidays shall be excluded.”

The man’s lawyer, Andre O’kola, therefore, filed a writ of habeas corpus to force the police to produce the individual before the court to make an inquiry concerning his or her detention.

In his application to the court on Thursday he mentioned that his client was made to sleep on cold concrete next to a mentally ill man who screamed all night and would relieve himself and throw feces around.

He said that those conditions gave his client a viral infection.

Justice Ann-Marie Smith, therefore, released the man and ordered him to report to a police station once every day.

The Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, or the Commissioner of Police were also told to come to court on Friday to provide reasons for detaining the man.


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