No sympathy for fugitives from CoP

Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith says claims made by two pris­on­ers on the run about their in­no­cence will have to be de­ter­mined by a court of law.

He said po­lice of­fi­cers will not have any sym­pa­thy for the fugi­tives in their mis­sion to re­cap­ture the es­capees.

Grif­fith was speak­ing on CNC3’s Morn­ing Brew on Mon­day on the is­sue.

“I am mak­ing it plain, very sim­ple, I do not care. That is not my busi­ness, that is not my con­cern.

There’s a crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and the court would de­cide whether they are guilty or in­no­cent…we will hunt them down and we will bring them to jus­tice and we would let the court de­cide,” Grif­fith said.

“The fact of the mat­ter is we have a crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem…we should not be aid­ing and abet­ting, sym­pa­this­ing with a sys­tem to try to al­lude if per­sons feel they are in­no­cent they should try to es­cape,” the Com­mis­sion­er said, as he re­spond­ed to so­cial me­dia posts.

In the video post­ed to so­cial me­dia over the week­end, one of the es­capees, Olatun­gi Den­bow, claimed they were framed by a fe­male State wit­ness and ex­pressed con­cern the au­thor­i­ties are on­ly con­cerned about was putting them “back in jail.” But Grif­fith as­sured this claim has no mer­it.

“Do not for a mo­ment think that this sit­u­a­tion is just based on one wit­ness claim­ing that these in­di­vid­u­als are guilty. There’s a cer­tain DPP (Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions) in this coun­try. He is very metic­u­lous. He would run me im­me­di­ate­ly if at any time there’s the per­cep­tion that a case for mur­der is not air­tight.”

He said when treat­ing with cas­es of mur­der, the po­lice must en­sure due dili­gence as the DPP would not ac­cept the case.

Giv­ing an­oth­er per­spec­tive, founder of Vi­sion in Mis­sion Wayne Chance said he agreed that the men need­ed to be re­cap­tured but their pleas for jus­tice must al­so be tak­en in­to con­sid­er­a­tion. He said the re­mand prison was over­crowd­ed and those await­ing tri­al had to ex­pe­ri­ence worse con­di­tions than those con­vict­ed.

“What has to be tak­en in­to ac­count here is that these es­capees need to be brought back in­to cus­tody. But ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion (they are) in­no­cent un­til proven guilty but... treat­ed rather as guilty un­til proven in­no­cent,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from 2015 by the Min­istry of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al And Le­gal Af­fairs, the re­mand prison is op­er­at­ing at 157 per cent its ca­pac­i­ty, hold­ing some 1,032 de­tainees de­spite on­ly be­ing de­signed to hold 655.

Reporter: Rishard Khan

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