A 2-day train-the-trainer workshop for officers of the Nigeria police Force was held yesterday in Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria.
Benson Olugbuo, PhD, Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, in a statement of purpose, said the training dwelt on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, where police officers drawn from the 28 states of the federation participated.
According to him, “the police as gatekeepers to the criminal justice system require continued training and retraining to effectively deliver on their constitutional mandate to maintain law and order and protect lives and property in a professional manner and within the confines of the laws”.
He named some of the states where the police officers were drawn from as: Lagos, Anambra, Ekiti, Enugu, Rivers, Delta, Kaduna, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Oyo, and Kogi, Ogun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Edo, Benue, Adamawa, Jigawa, Nassarawa, Bauchi, Kano, Yobe, Kwara, and Osun.
The director further explained that the workshop organized by Foundation is coming at a crucial time in our country in view of the escalating crime incidences.
The multiplicity of reports on human rights violations, complaints about non-compliance to the laws by law enforcement agents, and the need for expeditious hearing of criminal cases in the country.
The ACJA 2015 as we know has brought fundamental reforms to our criminal justice system.
The Act was designed to not only preserve and strengthen existing legal frameworks but also enhance the efficiency of the institutions within the criminal justice system and the protection of human rights of citizens – suspects, defendants and victims.
The legislative purpose of the ACJA, 2015 is to have a nation-wide application, thus, to introduce a national criminal procedure law that will regulate the investigation and prosecution of offences throughout the federation.
The Act, being an Act of the National Assembly is only applicable to the Federal Capital Territory and to Federal courts and other federal institutions including the Nigeria Police, however many states are beginning to adopt the Act.
His words: “Findings from public perceptions surveys, CLEEN conducted in 2017and 2018 respectively to monitor the Administration of Criminal Justice Reform Process indicate a low level of awareness amongst criminal justice institutions including the police and with the increase in the number of states adopting the law, it is expedient to ensure adequate awareness on the provisions of the law and their applicability in criminal proceedings”.
It is against this background and in furtherance of our commitment to support the efforts of the Inspector General of Police(IGP) to improve police professionalism and service delivery, that CLEEN Foundation is implementing organizing series of training programs for police officers across the country beginning with this Training of Trainers(ToT) workshop to improve the knowledge and capacity of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force on the ACJA 2015 with a view to deepen their understanding of the dynamics and nuances involved in the application of the Act.
This training workshop will draw from the experiences of senior police officers on the field, look at the role that law enforcement and security actors such as the Police are expected to play in promoting the implementation of the ACJA, the associated challenges they face and providing mitigating strategizes.
It is expected that at the end of the training, the trained personnel will be better equipped and positioned to handle criminal cases from an informed and the enlightened perspective of the law.