Rivers State Chief Justice, Justice Simeon Amadi has urged all law enforcement agencies to adopt the innovative provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) when making arrests and arrests. surveys.
Judge Amadi said so during a one-day workshop on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law – Practical Approach to Arrest and Related Issues for Law Enforcement and the launch of the program of arrest. Police Service Solicitors (PDSS) on Wednesday in Port Harcourt Rivers State.
The workshop was organized by the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council in collaboration with Rivers State Police Command, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON) and the Bar Association of Nigeria (Port Harcourt Branch).
According to the Chief Justice, the success and failure of the criminal proceedings can be attributed to the way the arrest and investigation protocol was followed, as a lawful arrest and proper investigation is the foundation on which the criminal proceedings.
He said: “It is therefore relevant that all law enforcement agencies adopt the provisions of the ACJL. When improper investigations are conducted, the result will be that the defendant will be fired and acquitted and society will be worse off.
“The Police Duty Counsel Scheme (PDSS) as amended confirms the importance of strict adherence to procedures. In granting the will of the criminal justice system in Rivers State and indeed in our country, law enforcement and all stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice must be aware of this protocol.
“Society is always watching us, especially when a notorious criminal is arrested and brought to justice and due to improper investigation is left behind.
“Many times society sees the court as not doing its job, I’m not saying every defendant should be convicted. I am confident that this workshop will bring to life in practical terms the principle of the law to create an efficiently run criminal justice system, which will result in the protection of society against crime and the protection of the rights and interests of the suspect, the defendant and the victim”.
Presenting an article on the subject: “Arrest Procedure Before and During Arrest in accordance with the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act”, FIDA Assistant National Vice-President Evelyn Membere said that in Under the ACJL, it is wrong for a police officer to arrest a suspect without informing him of the reason for the arrest, noting that it is also wrong for the police to search a place without a search warrant.
“The ACJL frowns on arrest for civil offenses such as non-payment of rent and being a debtor for land matters, as these are not crimes, anyone with such a problem should go directly to the court.
“ACJL Section 7 specifically prohibits tact arrest, the provisions of the section require you to notify the next of kin or friend of the suspect who is in your custody no later than two hours after the arrest. They also instruct a police officer to obtain a search warrant authorizing him to search a place.
“A police officer cannot break into someone’s private residence without a search warrant. Where force may be applied is when an officer with a warrant obtainable and the occupier of the premises refuses entry even after showing the authorization warrant, then the officer may enter strength “.
For his part, Rivers State Police Commissioner, CP Friday Eboka, who was represented by CPA Olayinka Ajeigbe, Deputy Commissioner, State CID of Rivers State, maintained that the investigation remains the one of the main functions/duties of the Nigerian Police.
He said all aspects of the investigation, from arrest to prosecution, are governed by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which has been incorporated under the administrative or criminal law of the state of Rivers, 2015.
“We cannot pretentiously fake the current situation hampering the investigation at its core, leading to good criminal cases being tried (of which the police should have obtained convictions), either expunged or the accused acquitted on the basis of a poor quality survey.
“And more importantly, some of our detectives, in the course of the investigation, violate clear provisions of the applicable law governing investigations, thus contributing to the negative hype against the police as an institution. This necessitated the Command’s collaboration with the Rivers State Criminal Justice Administration Oversight Council on this commendable train-the-trainer project on hands-on approach to arrest and relationship issues for law enforcement order and initiation of the Police Duty Counsel Scheme (PDSS) in Rivers State vis a vis the provisions of the Rivers State Administrative Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“Simultaneously, this workshop aims to set an excellent pace for proper professionalism and, essentially, equip us with the latest investigative strategies as 21st century legal investigators, making us far more relevant in perpetuity.
“Finally, I encourage all participants to use everything they have learned here as a working guide during the investigation and to train others in their various police formations to grasp the provisions of the applicable law with respect to investigation”.