Sunday, 25 February 2018

Civil Society Observatory On The Administration Of Criminal Justice In Nigeria Takes Its Advocacy To Akwa Ibom State

The Civil Society Observatory on the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria in line with its mandate to drive advocacy and popularize the provisions of the Act among the key criminal justice stakeholders met with the officers and men of the Nigeria Police  and Nigeria Prisons Service in Akwa Ibom State as part of its activities during its just concluded 3rd Quarterly Observatory Meeting held on 22nd February, 2018.

The visits which were made to Abak Police Station, ‘D’ Division Police Station, Itam, and Ikot Ekpene Medium Prison  brought to the fore the good practices that the officers and men of the Nigeria Police  in the two Police divisions have adopted in the aspect of community policing grounded on transparency,  accountability and community engagement. The members of the Observatory were also intimated on   the daunting challenges that the Police and Prisons grapple with on a daily basis.

Commending the agencies for their exemplary work/efforts, the Observatory called on the officers and men of the Nigeria Police  and Prisons Service to make concerted efforts to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities as provided in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA) to further strengthen their work.

Not oblivious of the challenges and constraints being faced by the officers and men of the Nigeria Police  and Nigeria Prisons Service which adversely affect the full and successful implementation of the ACJA, 2015, the Observatory, therefore, makes the following recommendations:
·        the Nigerian government urgently needs to take constructive  steps  to ensure that the requisite infrastructure, equipment and capacity building required by the relevant criminal justice agencies  be put in place for  the ACJA, 2015 to work effectively.
·        the Observatory has come across a number of DPOs and other senior cadre officers who are willing and determined, against all odds, to provide professional and exemplary leadership and to ensure that they and other officers under them discharge their duties responsibly, transparently and accountably. The Nigerian government and the Police hierarchy must encourage such officers by addressing the dire funding, operational, capacity  and welfare deficits currently hampering Police effectiveness and professionalism.
·        the government  needs to urgently address the overcrowded cells in the Ikot-Ekpene Prison and the alarming number of 658 Awaiting Trial Persons(ATPs) in the 400-capacity Prison which currently holds a total of  772 inmates.
·         the Federal and State Governments in partnership with NGOs need to properly equip and fully utilize the workshops and educational facility in the Ikot-Ekpene Prison to aid the reformation of the inmates.
·        while the Observatory commends the efforts of the Akwa Ibom State Government for the domestication of the ACJA, 2015,  the State Government is urged to do all within its power to ensure that the law is properly implemented.
·        other states are, therefore, called upon to domesticate the ACJA, 2015 for the effective management of criminal justice in Nigeria.

The Observatory pledges its continued commitment to contributing towards the implementation of the ACJA, 2015 through the organization and sensitization programs on the ACJA, 2015 for the officers and men of the Nigeria Police, Prisons Service, and general public in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria in general.

Civil Society Observatory Group on the Implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria -
1.       Chinwike Okereke Esq, African Law Foundation(AFRILAW), Enugu State
2.       Mr. Saviour Akpan, Community Policing Partners for Justice, Security and Democratic Reforms (COMPPART),Akwa-Ibom State
3.       Henry Okereke Justice Esq, Development and Peace Makers' Centre (JDPMC), Osun State
4.       Alhaji Iskil Yusuf, Controller of Prisons (rtd), Oyo State
5.       Mr. Okey Nwanguma, Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Lagos State
6.       Musa Aliyu Abubakar Esq, Partnership for Development Action, Jigawa State
7.       Mr. Mbami Iliya Subka, Prison Inmate Development Initiative(PIDI), Bauchi State
8.       Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem Esq, Prisoners' Rights Advocacy Initiative(PRAI), Lagos State
9.       Mr. Tijani AbdulKareem, Socio Economic Research and Development Center (SERDEC), Kogi State
10.   Dr. Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Academic/Independent Legal Consultant, Lagos State
11.    Kehinde Adegbite Esq, Private Legal Practitioner, Oyo State
12.   Mr. Robert Ndukwe, Locate Initiative for Missing and Exploited Persons (Locate NG), Lagos State
13.   Prof Joy Ezeilo, Women Aid Collective (WACOL) (Observatory Advisor), Enugu State
14.   Mrs. Blessing Abiri, CLEEN Foundation(Secretariat), Lagos State


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