The Lagos State Police command has described as false news reports circulating in the social media as well as in some sections of the print media to the effect that one Yinka Badmus, a photojournalist, has been arrested and remanded in Ikoyi prison, for allegedly sporting a hairstyle, which some policemen felt made him look like a cultist.
Reacting to the reports, the spokesman of the Lagos State Police command, CSP Chike Oti observed that the command, ordinarily, would not have responded to the news but for the numerous phone calls and enquiries from well-meaning Nigerians, which prompted it to put the issue in proper perspective.
Oti who maintained that it was ridiculous to say that the Anti-Cultism Unit of the command charged a suspect to court because of his hairstyle however clarified that the said journalist, Yinka Badmus and 13 others were charged to Ogudu Magistrate Court on January 4, 2019, on two-count charges.
“The first count is conspiracy i.e for conspiring amongst themselves to commit felony to wit membership of unlawful society contrary to and punishable under Section 411, Cap CH, C17, Vol. 3 Laws of Lagos, 2015. The second count holds them for belonging to an unlawful society known as Eiye confraternity contrary to and punishable under Section 42(a), Cap CH, C17 Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State 2015.
“The suspects were however granted bail In the sum of fifty thousand Naira (N50,000) by a court of competent jurisdiction. However, those who could not meet the bail conditions were remanded in prison custody pending when they would meet the stipulated conditions for their bail. This is an issue that is neither within the purview of Force nor its control.
“In view of the development, the command wishes to put the matter straight. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no section of the Lagos State Criminal Law and indeed the Criminal Code that criminalizes hairstyle. Therefore, there is no way the said Yinka Badmus could have been charged to court for wearing dreadlocks by the police. Suspects are charged to court based on the existing law and not for mundane reasons”, he said.
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