Law News
Mbu seeks improved facilities for criminal justice administration implementation

THE Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone two command, Onikan, Mr Joseph Mbu has called on both the Federal and state governments to support the Police in the provision of modern statement rooms in order to effectively implement the provisions of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 2015 (ACJ).

Mbu made the call last week during the inaguration of the model statement recording room donated to the Police by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) at the zonal headquarters in Lagos.

He said: “As expected of enterprising criminal suspects, their first line of defence used to be an absolute denial of all the allegations. History of crime and criminality is replete with suspected criminals and their lawyers who always look for loopholes in Police investigation in order to escape punishment.

Even suspects who voluntarily confessed to the crime at the Police station usually turn round during trial to deny the voluntariness of such statements.

It was such chameleonic dispotion of criminal suspects that persuaded some courts to disregard such confessions and embark on trial within trial which usually to a large extent impedes the smooth and expeditious conclusion of criminal trials.”

Represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Administration and Finance, Abiodun Ige, Mbu explained that it was to avoid the pitfalls that Lagos State Government in 2011 incorporated section 9(3) in the ACJ 2011.

The subsection provides that “where any person who is arrested with or without a warrant volunteers to make confessional statement, the Police officer shall ensure that the making and taking of such statemtnt is recorded on video and the said recording and copies of it may be produced at the trial provided that in the absence of video facility, the said statement shall be in writing in the presence of a legal practitioner of his choice.”

He noted that the federal government in similar vein inserted the same provision in Administration of Justice Act: “In order to give practical effect to this provision of the law, LEDAP magnanimously equipped this room with CCTV cameras and two monitors to assist the police in the recording of confessional statements of suspects.”

The project, Adaobi Egboka of LEDAP said was supported by Justice For All (J4A). According to her, it is in line with the vision of LEDAP to enhance the work of all the agencies in the justice administration system.

Also, the Component Manager, Cross-Sector coordination of the J4A, Godwin Odo explained that the organisation which works in concert with the Department of International Development (DFID) is determined to ease the work of the police and also ensure that suspects’statements are taking without torture, intimidation and harassment.

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