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Centre advocates full implementation of criminal justice act in Nasarawa


By Linus Ogbu, Lafia

The Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre, a legal-based NGO, has advocated for full implementation of Administration of Criminals Justice Act in Nasarawa State.

Mr Osita Chukwuma, Executive Director of the Centre, made this known at the capacity training on the Nasarawa state administration of criminal justice law (ACJL), 2018 on Wednesday in Lafia.

According to Chukwuma, Law Hub Development and Advocacy Centre, with support from MacArthur Foundation is tasked to popularise and disseminate the ACJLs of states, enhancing their widespread understanding and acceptance to reflect amendments.

Chukwuma, represented by Dada Joshua – Gbenga, Consultant, Law Hub Advocacy Centre explained that ACJA aims to revolutionise the way justice is being served in the country.

“By replacing outdated laws and introducing new provisions, the ACJA seeks to enhance efficiency, address long-standing gaps, and prioritise the protection of human rights.

“The ACJA’s overarching objective is to establish a criminal justice system that promotes effective management of institutions, expedites legal proceedings, and safeguards the rights and interests of suspects, defendants, and victims,” Chukwuma said.

He said ACJA covers every aspect of the criminal justice process, ranging from arrest and investigation to trial, custodial matters, and sentencing guidelines, noting that it provided robust framework that addresses the complexities of the justice system.

“The Centre has been entrusted with the implementation of the MacArthur On Nigeria 2.0 project across 12 states: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, and Oyo.

“This project aims to tackle the issue of poor implementation resulting from inadequate awareness of the respective ACJLs in these states, we are persuaded that poor implementation stems from inadequate understanding of the provisions and purpose of the laws,” he said.

He said that the ultimate aim of the project was to strengthen the criminal justice system in Nigeria by fostering a deeper appreciation of the provisions of the ACJLs in the mentioned states in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Justice Aisha Bashir, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, who hammered on prison decongestion said implementation of ACJL in that aspect was hampered by several factors including Police, paucity of funds, administration bottleneck, juvenile inmates among others.

She, however advised magistrates not to remand people for minor and non capital offences, noting that offender should not be taken to prison when the offence was bailable, by so doing it would reduce prison congestion.

The capacity training on ACJL has drawn stakeholders from Nigerian Police Force, Nigeria Correctional Service, Human Right Commission, Nasarawa State Judiciary, Legal Aid Council, Nigeria Bar Association among others.

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