The Lagos State Police command has denied that its Anti-Cultist Unit arrested and detained Yinka Badmus, a photojournalist in prison for allegedly sporting dreadlocks, describing the report as ridiculous.
In a statement released by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, the Command said, Yinka Badmus and 13 others were charged to Ogudu Magistrate court on January 4, 2019, on two-count charges bordering on conspiracy and for belonging to an unlawful society known as Eiye confraternity, contrary to reports that he was detained and remanded because of his choice of hairstyle.
Oti stated that; “Clearly speaking, Yinka Badmus and 13 others were charged to Ogudu Magistrate, Court on January 4, 2019, on a two-count charge. 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 statement added that; “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 the bail. This is an issue that is neither within the purview of Force nor its control.”
Oti concluded saying; “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 criminalises 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.”