Law News
Stop Forcing Suspects To Make Confessional Statements’

The presiding justice at the Court of Appeal Lagos Division Justice Mohammed Garba has urged operatives of the Nigeria Police to do more investigation rather than waiting for a confessional statements to unravel a crime.

Justice Garba lamented that Nigeria appears to have the highest number of confessional statements used as the basis of making findings during police investigation.

The appellate court justice said this while speaking on the topic, ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015: Innovations, challenges and the way forward’ at the annual seminar/workshop of the National Association of Judicial Correspondents which held in Lagos.

Justice Garba, who was represented by Appeal Court Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu, appealed to the police to step up and keep pace with the high standards of crime investigation which obtains in all civilised countries of the world.

“They owe Nigeria and Nigerians this duty of care,” he said.

The justice said it was time for safeguards to be put in place to guarantee transparency in criminal investigations by ensuring that suspects’ statements were only taken in the presence of their lawyers.

He also absolved the judiciary of blame in the parade of suspects by law enforcement agencies.

He said, “Sadly, most of the agencies we have now, which have both investigative and prosecutorial powers, like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in particular, engage so much in media trial.

“But, if they don’t blow their trumpet, nobody will blow it for them and it’s only when they blow their trumpet as to what they are doing that we’ll know that they are actually working.

“What can the judiciary do? The judiciary only works on what is brought before it. Unless there is a case that has been brought for judicial pronouncement, the judiciary will not make any pronouncement on whether it is wrong or not.

“So, the judiciary is not self-activating; the jurisdiction of a court is only invoked when such a matter comes for judicial pronouncement and until such matter comes, the judiciary cannot do anything.”

Source: TML News

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