From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Stakeholders at the weekend gathered in the Abia State capital, Umuahia to assess the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in Abia.
This was done through a seminar organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation, while the NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education, provided the technical support.
Speaking at the event, Omo Osagie of the Nigeria police said they have be doing all within their power to ensure that the law was fully implemented.
Osagie said when the Administration of Criminal Justice Law was domesticated across Nigeria, the operational challenges of the police was not taken into cognizance.
Despite that, he said police have within the resources available to them ensured that justice was not in any way delayed which was what the law was partly about.
Osagie admitted there were instances where more time was needed to investigate a matter, especially capital offence cases, “in this case police cannot perform magic and should not be blamed”.
He said despite the obvious challenges police are countering, they are doing their best to ensure that the law is implemented.
He called for adequate funding of the police as to enable them do more in this direction.
“And do also forget that without funds, all we are saying here, will not yield any fruit. Police need to be adequately funded to help them fasten their role in the administration of justice system law in Nigeria.
Representative of Comptroller of Nigerian Correctional Service, Abia command, while commending the framers of the law, said it was not only meant to decongest custodian centres, but also ensure that the rights of those facing trial were protected.
He regretted that the full benefits of the law has not been felt in Custodian Centres that have remained over crowded with inmates because some Magistrates were yet to come to terms with the law.
He called on the state government to donate operational vehicles to the Correctional Service in Abia which he said will fasten their operations.
Former chairman of NBA, Umuahia branch, Nnamdi Eluwa, who was the moderator at the event, called on the stakeholders, including the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Police and Nigeria Correctional Service to redouble their efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the state.