The Nigerian Police Force on Saturday released a statement refuting media report that one Yinka Badmus who is alleged to be a photo-journalist was arrested by the Police for wearing dreadlocks, saying rather, the said man was arrested for cultism and criminal activities.
The Police in their statement, said the 24-year-old, Yinka Badmus was arrested by the Policemen attached to the Lagos State Anti-Cultism unit and others for criminal activities in the State, and have since been charged and granted bail by a court, while those in custody are there because they could not meet up with the N50,000 bail condition set by the court.
The statement released by the Lagos State command, CSP Chike Oti who is the Police Public Relation, said:
The attention of the authorities of Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the rounds on the social media and published by 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.
Ordinarily, the Command would not have responded to the news but because of numerous phone calls and
enquiries from well-meaning Nigerians, it decided to put the issue in proper perspective.
To start with, it is ridiculous to say that the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command charged a suspect to court because of his hairstyle. Clearly speaking, 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 a 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 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.