The Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf , has called on the Police and other prosecutorial agencies in the country to work towards achieving an effective justice system in the country.
Baba-Yusuf made the call yesterday in Abuja, at a workshop to enhance the prosecutorial powers of police in line with modern times.
The workshop was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Project Team, NBA Institute of Continued Legal Education and the Macarthur Foundation. It was titled: ‘The Role of Nigeria Police in the Implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA)20215 and Compliance with the Principle of Human Rights in Law Enforcement.
Speaking, the CJ remarked that for achieving the objectives of ACJA, “largely depends on the existence of effective and efficient prosecutorial agencies with the mastery of the law to facilitate proceedings in order to meet the demands of justice as the need arises.”
“And this is where the Nigeria Police Force and criminal defense lawyers come in. As we all know, the Nigeria Police Force is one of the gatekeepers in the Nigerian criminal justice system, with the responsibility to implement the ACJA. “It therefore goes without saying that to effectively discharge this enormous responsibility, the police including criminal defense lawyers generally, need to possess adequate knowledge of the provisions of the ACJA and their applicability in criminal proceedings. Anything to the contrary could occasion grave consequences in the criminal justice system that may spell doom for the society”.
While commending the organisers for convening the training workshop, he urged participants to make use of the knowledge acquired to promote a seamless administration of Justice in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the NBA Institute of Continued Legal Education, Mr Tobenna Erojikwe, observed that the enactment of the ACJA, 2015 has introduced innovative provisions that not only promotes the speedy dispensation of justice, but is capable of restoring public confidence in the Nigerian justice system.
He added:”For Nigeria and Nigerians to enjoy the innovative provisions of the Act the Police Force needs to ensure an efficient performance of its assigned roles under the Act.”
According to him, some of the assigned roles of the Police Force under the Act include the duty to eschew unlawful arrest such as the practice of arresting in lieu of suspects as provided under Section 7 of the Act.
“The Act also makes expansive provision for the protection of the constitutional rights of an arrested person. Section 6 of the Act amongst others, places a duty on the officer making the arrest to inform the person to be arrested of his or her rights to remain silent or avoid answering any question or making, endorsing or writing any statement, until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice,” he added.
He expressed confidence that with the training the police will be better equipped in the discharge of its prosecutorial task.