Civil Society Observatory On ACJA takes its Advocacy to Akwa Ibom State
By admin On 26 Feb, 2018 At 02:02 AM | Categorized As News | With 0 Comments

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.

Signed:
Civil Society Observatory Group on the Implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria

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