The Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC) has nominated Cleen Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, to represent Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the committee.
Mr Suleiman Daudu, Chairman of the ACJMC made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the 5th National Project Working Group Meeting on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Daudu said that the nomination was in recognition of the efforts of the foundation towards the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in Nigeria and especially in the states where the law had been domesticated.
“This nomination is in recognition of the roles played by Cleen Foundation in training police officers, inaugurating resource centres for researchers.
“Also the inauguration of an online criminal case archive platform for easy access to criminal cases, court judgments both for individuals and institutions,’’ he said.
He, however, advised the foundation to strengthen its capacity and monitoring ability by collaborating with the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice sector.
Responding, Mr Benson Olugbuo, executive director of the foundation, said that it was gratifying to note that the foundation was now a representative of CSOs in Nigeria in the membership structure of the ACJMC in the ACJA.
According to him, since the inception of ACJA, the organisation has been focused on issues emerging from the implementation of the act to proffer realistic solutions to the identified issues.
He said that the foundation would use its position in the ACJMC to advance its work in public safety, security and access to justice in Nigeria.
“We thank all our partners and stakeholders and the Nigerian public for consistently supporting our work in the last twenty-two years.
“Our ACJA project working groups both at the state and national level have drawn robust contributions from relevant stakeholders at different levels including lawyers, policymakers, researchers, CSOs, law enforcement and security officials and experts in the field of justice.
“We remain extremely grateful for the consistent support we have gotten from our supporting partners like the MacArthur Foundation in terms of funding this project and we would represent the interest of all CSOs to the letter,’’ he said.
He noted that when it came to justice reforms, the foundation shared a lot of mutual interest for effective and satisfactory justice service delivery within the criminal justice sector with other NGOs and CSOs.
He, however, called for synergy among CSOs that possessed an important stake in the manner in which the ACJA was implemented with a focus to dwell on gaining broader and useful insights, especially on effective strategies and policies implementation.
Mr Folarin Aluko, the Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Abuja chapter, lauded the efforts of the foundation, urging other groups to emulate and imbibe its methods and strategies.
Aluko said that the NBA Abuja branch would collaborate with the foundation to provide online resources through its resource centre for both individuals, institutions and especially interested law students researching into criminal cases.
The ACJA was passed in 2015 to promote speedy dispensation of criminal justice in Nigeria.
The act represents a radical shift from punitive to restorative justice, trying to balance the interest of victims, defendants and the society.