The mother of a 10-year-old, Rakia Aliu, has slammed the Niger State Police Command for keeping her son in custody over alleged theft of some crops of maize in the Kontagora area of the state.
NAIJA LIVE TV learnt that the minor, Ibrahim Sani, allegedly stole about nine “mudu” of maize from a grinding shop and sold it to another person before he was apprehended and handed over to the local vigilante men.
Rakia, while speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, said the boy was detained on account that the man who bought the maize had to appear for questioning.
According to her, the police officer showed up during the investigation, arrested her son and detained him on Wednesday. Rakia said, “He went to the police station around 6pm on Wednesday, they took him away and locked him in the cell till the following morning.”
NAIJA LIVE TV learnt that the man who bought the maize from the boy had already settled the matter with the “vigilante group” after paying for 15 mudus of the maize as he wasn’t staying in the area.
It was also gathered that he often came into town to buy goods and leave. When contacted, it was revealed that the police said the boy would not be released from custody until the man shows up.
Rakia said, “Now, they want to see the man in the police station that bought the corns from the boy. The boy is still being detained until they see the man. The man is not living here in Kontagura and the boy has been detained since Wednesday.”
When contacted by one of our correspondents, the Police Public Relations Officer for Niger State, Wasiu Alabi, acknowledged the incident while also affirming that investigation was ongoing to apprehend the receiver. He said the boy was only assisting with investigations.
“It’s not everything that is detention. There’s what we call protective custody, what if the boy is being kept with the police on protective base? It’s not like they will go and keep the boy in the same cell with criminals. It’s not everybody in the police station who is under arrest or detention that is kept with criminals.
“He’s assisting the police to get the receiver. There’s what we call a juvenile offender, it doesn’t mean the boy has not committed an offence.”
He noted that the police Area Command was investigating the suspected theft, and that effort was ongoing to arrest the receiver, as the boy confessed to the crime.
“He is assisting the police to get the receiver, as a juvenile offender,” Alabi concluded.
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