The Director-General, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACN), Mr Aliyu Abubakar, has called for urgent shift in the manner arrests and investigation are conducted by the police.Abubakar made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the Oyo State #EndSARS Panel of Enquiry, at the State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.He said that Nigeria’s Correctional Centres are filled with awaiting trial persons due to poor recording processes by the security agencies.
”Our nation’s criminal justice administration is pathetic because of the disposition of the security agents.
”We must have a radical change from what is happening currently. For instance, if you go to the Agodi Correctional Service, I can tell you that up to 70 per cent of those that are there are people that are awaiting trial, the same thing is happening throughout the country.
“This is pathetic because some of them must have spent so many years in prison. This is a travesty of justice because in law, justice delayed is justice denied.
“And the funny thing about this situation is that, in such a way and manner, if they have been convicted by the law court based on the offence they have committed, some of them must have left prison.
“It doesn’t make sense and almost everybody is aware of this, but everyone seems to be handicapped.”
The director-general noted that the Nigeria Police is a principal actor as far as the issue is concerned.
”Other detailing authorities are also guilty of the issues raised. But the Police have the highest number because they deal with society on a daily basis.
“It is so bad inspite of what the legal aid council, Presidential Committee on prison decongestion and NBA are doing to release 10 people from prisons the Police is dumping 30 or 40 other people, in such a way and manner, we cannot make progress,” he added.
Abubakar said the essential thing was to beg and appeal to the Nigeria Police to do what is right.
He equally charged policy makers to make it a duty and recommend to government on the need to reorientate the Nigeria Police.
Abubakar further urged the Oyo State #EndSARS Panel to get justice in the interim or immediately for people that have been denied justice, or people that have suffered from the brutality of detention authorities.
He also called on the panel to focus more in recommending orientation for the police in particular.
In her remarks, Justice Badejoko Adeniji, the chairman of the Oyo State #EndSARS Panel, who appreciated the director-general for the courtesy visit, aligned with his submissions, while attributing the causes of the #EndSARS protest to the inappropriate way and manner some policemen worked.