Stakeholders in the Administrative of Justice have called for the building of more prisons rather than talking about prison decongestion due to the crime rate and spate of violence in the society.
The group also advocated for a seminar for the Investigating officers of all the Law Agencies in Nigeria for them to be aware of their roles under the Act/Law.
At a meeting held in Akure, the state capital, under the umbrella of CLEEN Foundation, Ondo State chapter, they also stressed the need to separate convict on minor/misdemeanor offenses from convict of capital offenses.
The Resource Person and the current Nigeria Bar Association Chairman of Akure Branch, NBA, Olawale Daniel, stressed the need for the introduction of video recording of a suspect’s statement at the Police Station.
According to him, this will save them from any mistake while obtaining a suspect’s statement.
Olawale Daniel also disclosed that police’s failure to employ more lawyers in their legal department to prosecute cases and that lack of personnel/legal practitioners in the Police force has affected the prosecutors negatively considering the fact that they lack a right of reply on point in the court.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Grace Olowoporoku who represented the Ondo state Attorney-General, Adekola Olawoye, averred that there is need for proper sensitization of the Police about the Administration of Criminal Justice Act/Law because the rate at which Confession Statements of Defendants are been thrown out for non compliance with the Act/Law are alarming.
Okowoporoku bemoaned the nonprofessionalism act of the Investigating Officers, adding that if proper steps are not taken to ensure the Investigating Officers are well educated on the provisions of ACJA/ACJL there might be a problem in the state/country.
She noted that most of the defendants in criminal cases are released to the society due to the laxity of the Law Enforcement Agencies and unawareness of the provisions of the Act/Law.
The representatives of the Director of Legal Aid Council, Magistrate Adeyanju, the Police, the NBA and the Controller of Prison, Ondo State, in their goodwill messages, thanked CLEEN FOUNDATION for the ample opportunity to be part of a Technical Working Group on Administrative of Justice.
They enjoined the CLEEN FOUNDATION not stop the giant stride that has been take and ensure that all the suggestions and recommendations are well utilized.
Earlier, Mr.Joshua Sebiotimo, welcomed all the participants, said the meeting aimed at having formidable stakeholders that would work hand in hand in ensuring that the aim and purposes of Administration of Criminal Justice Act/Law are met.
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