Nigeria: Mother Criticizes Niger Police for Detaining 10-Year-Old Son Over Maize Theft

Nigeria: Mother Criticizes Niger Police for Detaining 10-Year-Old Son Over Maize Theft

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

Rakia Aliu, the mother of a 10-year-old boy named Ibrahim Sani, has expressed strong disapproval of the Niger State Police Command for detaining her son on allegations of stealing maize in the Kontagora area of the state.

According to reports from PUNCH Metro, Ibrahim Sani was accused of pilfering approximately nine “mudu” of maize from a grinding shop. The boy allegedly sold the maize to someone before being apprehended and handed over to local vigilante members.

Rakia, in her statements to PUNCH Metro, revealed that her son was detained because the man who purchased the maize needed to appear for questioning. The police officer intervened during the investigation, arrested Ibrahim, and kept him in custody overnight.

The situation arose even after the buyer had settled the matter with the local vigilante group by paying for 15 mudus of maize, considering he was not a resident in the area but frequently visited for business purposes.

Rakia Aliu expressed her frustration, stating, “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.”

In response to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer for Niger State, Wasiu Alabi, acknowledged the situation and affirmed that investigations were ongoing to apprehend the receiver. Alabi clarified that the boy was assisting with the investigations and emphasized that not every child in protective custody was placed with criminal detainees.

While recognizing the juvenile offender status, Alabi concluded that the boy was aiding the police in identifying the receiver, who the boy had reportedly confessed to. The police assured that efforts were being made to resolve the case.

The incident highlights concerns about the detention of a minor in the course of an investigation and underscores the importance of ensuring fair treatment, especially when dealing with juvenile offended.

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