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Lawyers, police trained on criminal justice administration in Delta

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By Sylvester Idowu, Warri

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation, yesterday concluded a two-day sensitisation workshop for police officers and lawyers on the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The training was also aimed at making officers comply with principles of human rights in law enforcement in the South-South zone.

Speaking at the event, which started on Monday and concluded yesterday, President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata said the workshop was part of his administration’s policy to assess the level of Administration of Criminal Justice law enacted in 2015 and examine the successes and challenges of its implementation.

He disclosed that the workshop was carried out in 28 of the 36 states across the country which was being rounded off in Warri, Delta State.

Speaking at the commencement of the workshop in Warri, on Monday, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Isaiah Bozimo commended the organisers and urged the participants to take advantage of the training.

Isaiah, who was represented by Mrs E. J. Odogwu said the training was part of efforts to ensure that stakeholders imbibe the new normal and justice for the common man.

He assured that the participants would be better off after the training and that the system would be better at the end of the day

Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ari Muhammed Ali urged the participants to understand that such training was an opportunity for them to acquire more knowledge.

Ari, represented by CSP Emmanuel Yakubu, expressed the hope that the participants would learn the core values of some key principles of law regarding the administration of the criminal justice act.

“I urge us to consider this training as a policy of paramount importance, aimed at dictating the roles and mandate of the Nigeria Police Force.

Chairman, NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Mr Tobenna Erojikwe described the police as critical stakeholders in the implementation of the act.

He advised the participants to focus on Section 17 of the act which made taking particulars of suspects mandatory and urged the participants to share the experience gained during the training with their colleagues for them to also gain more experience.

Presenting a paper titled: “The need for the Nigeria police to comply with the principles of human rights and respect for the rule of law in fulfilling their law enforcement mandate”, Mr Saka Azimazi, former Deputy Director, Legal and Investigation, National Human Rights Commission, stressed the need for collaboration between lawyers and police in the implementation of the act.

Mr Idris Bawa, advisor, Police Programme, GIZ Africa-Nigeria, in his paper presentation titled “The role of the Nigeria police in the speedy and successful implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act” stressed the need for the procurement of recording gadgets for statements from suspects as provided for in the Act.

According to him, there was a need for coordination amongst all the judicial actors in the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act.

Secretary, National Human Rights Committee, NBA, Mr Benard Onigah, while presenting a paper titled: “The Nigeria Police and Citizens engagement; highlighting NBA human rights intervention”, canvassed for synergy between the police and lawyers to achieve the same goal in justice delivery.

A young lawyer and participant at the event, Miss Faith Anigboro commended the organisers of the workshop, adding that she gained a lot from the lectures and engagement by both lawyers and policemen at the event.

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