Increased pretrial population indictment on police, experts say
Experts in criminal justice administration sector have blamed the high number of pretrial prison inmates on police’s inability to fully comply with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
They said police’s negligence of the ACJL, impedes due process in prosecution of criminal cases.
As a result, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), with support from Trust Africa said it is aiming to promote increased awareness, compliance, representation and enforcement of the aspects of ACJL that apply to the police.
NOPRIN National Coordinator, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma lamented that since the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) came into force in 2007 and amended in 2011, and 3 years after the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) came into force in 2015 at the federal level, the creative push for reform and the lofty goals and the outcomes envisaged by these legislations have not been achieved.
Collins Okeke, said the law was passed to tackle the challenges of Criminal Procedure Act, which applied in the South and Criminal Procedure Code, which applied in the North.
“Throughout the period that we had these codes, there were challenges with the system of administration of the criminal justice. We had delays in court, the prisons were crowded so it became important to come up with practical ways of dealing with the challenges we had in the system of administration of criminal justice and that was why the Administration Of Criminal Justice Law was passed and the objective was essentially to bring in some kind of efficiency in the way criminal cases are managed and in the way suspects are treated in our criminal justice system,” he said.
Jude Igbanoi Esq, who assessed the police’s compliance with the ACJL gave the verdict that police does not perform in accordance to the provisions of the law.
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