A committee on decongestion of police cells set up by Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has released 182 suspects on bail.
It also recommended the speedy trial of 601 others being held for various offences at different police stations in 13 states.
The committee, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, called for immediate provision of health facilities as well as the establishment of sick bay and visiting days for inmates of police cells.
The committee inspected cells in 76 police formations in 13 states including the Force CID, Abuja.
A special team from Force Headquarters was made to pay random and unscheduled visits to police stations to ensure that Divisional Police Officers and their men comply with the statutory 48-hour detention period.
Abubakar was said to have directed his men to stop detention of suspects through the weekend without bail, stressing that it was illegal as suspects that committed bail-able offences could be granted bail every day by either male or female surety.
A copy of the committee report sighted by our correspondent called for the dismantling of barriers to bail such as the prohibition of women from taking suspects on bail and the demand for money by police personnel from sureties.
Abubakar was said to have directed that the police lawyers should establish a Police-Lawyers Forum to foster good relationship between the police, the bar association, the bench and the Ministry of Justice officials, particularly, the Director of Public Prosecution.
The report read in part, “The committee recommends re-engineering of police cells/ detention centres to make them more habitable while water and modern toilet facilities should be provided in this regard. The arrest and detention of individuals over the weekend is illegal and should be stopped; bail should be granted on a daily basis.”
Meanwhile, our correspondent learnt that the IG had directed that about 500 lawyers in non-legal and non-investigative units should be redeployed to the legal department to ensure quick trial of suspects in police cells across the country.