From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Plateau State, Barr. Chrysanthus Ahmadu said effective implementation of Criminal Justice system in Nigeria will reduced overcrowding of Correctional Centres with inmates awaiting trial.
He explained that lack of reliable disputes resolution mechanism is one of the factors discouraging foreign and local investments in developing nations of the world.
Barr. Ahmadu stated this while declaring open a one day capacity building training and presentation of secretariat equipments by the administration of criminal Justic monitoring committee Federal, with the support of Macarthur Foundation, held in Jos, Plateau State.
“We are no strangers to the condition of our justice sector institutions and mechanisms such as delay of cases which has one major resultant effect, overcrowding of Correctional Centres with a large percentage of inmates awaiting trial which consequently give rise to Human Rights issues.
” The foregoing is the backdrop to the reforms the criminal Justic sector witnessed in the recent past, which is ongoing.
“Parts of the reforms was the birth of the Administration of Criminal Act, 2015 which has been domesticated by almost all the states in Nigeria. Plateau state has not only passed the law but has just recently unveiled the practice direction to further strengthen the implementation of the law.”
He explained that the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee has the responsibility of ensuring effective and efficient application of the law by relevant agencies; ensuring the congestion of criminal cases in courts is greatly reduced; criminal matters are speedily delt with; congestion in the Custodial Centres is reduced to the barest minimum and persons awaiting trial are far as possible not detained in prison custody among others.
The Secretary Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, Federal Sulayman Dawodu expressed gratitude to the Macarthur Foundation for filling the vacuum created by previous administrations who ignored the development of criminal Justic system in the country.
He noted that such action has led to the current state of insecurity, corruption in the land and perennial congestion in the detention and Correctional facilities and courts.
“The responsibility for upholding and progressing the objectives of the ACJA/ACJL clearly rest on all criminal Justice stakeholders, especially the ACJMC/JSRT members, therefore the important of strategizing through synergy and sharing of information, knowledge and skills cannot be over emphasized.”
The Commissioner of Police, Plateau State, Bartholomew Onyeka, represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police, CID, Mohammed Buni and his counterpart said effective implementation of criminal Justice system will speedy trial of criminal cases that have been investigated.
“The number of cases that have been investigated and given to our legal units are many and we have not been able to arraigned them in court because of lack of man power and availability of the courts. Some of them stay with us for three to four months waiting for arraignment in courts.”
The Controller of Correctional Centre Plateau State, Jos Custodian Centre Samuel Agunda noted that there is high congestion in the facility because of lack of speedy trial of criminals.
He noted that the facility was build during the colonial era when criminal activities were not high and since then, the infrastructure has not been remodel in line with the current reality.