WHAT ARE THE AUTHORITIES REQUIRED TO DO WHEN A PERSON DIES IN POLICE CUSTODY?

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According to the law, if a person dies in police or prison custody a Coroner’s Inquest should be instituted and the Chief Justice, will appoint the Coroner.

In short, section 6(1) of the Coroners Act states:

“When any person dies while in the custody of the police or of a prison officer or in prison ….. the police officer or the prison officer or any other person having the custody or charge of the deceased person at the time of his death shall immediately give notice of the death to the nearest Coroner and … such Coroner shall hold an inquiry into the cause of such death……”

What should happen at the end of the enquiry?

According to section 9 subsection (3),

“If at the termination of the inquiry, the Coroner is of the opinion that an offence has been committed by some person or persons unknown, he shall record his opinion accordingly.”

However, subsection (4) of this section holds that “If at the termination of the inquiry the Coroner is of the opinion that no offence has been committed, he shall record his opinion accordingly.”

Then, “…. the Coroner shall forthwith transmit the proceedings or a certified copy thereof to the Chief Justice.”

Section 11 gives the Chief Justice power to order an inquest, direct any inquest to be reopened, quash the verdict in any inquest or quash any inquest.

Will there be an inquest in the case of Fakebba Colley who died in the custody of the police?