An Abuja-based Prison and Human Rights group, Uchefem Consult, on Monday commenced the training of 30 police, prisons and judicial officers on the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA) to avoid human rights violation.
The consult Chief Executive Officer, Uche Owete, said at the opening of the five-day training at Keffi, Nasarawa State, that the training would increase the cross-sectorial coordination, competences and capacities of major criminal justice actors.
Owete said the training organized for the officials in the FCT, was meant to effect serious and durable changes in the sector for the overall benefit of prison and justice systems.
“It will ensure police observance of human rights standards during interrogation, detention and trial, and highlight the major innovations in criminal administration in Nigeria, among others objectives,” he said.
He said that the training was aimed at bringing together the police, the lower courts, particularly Magistrates’ Courts, the prisons where human rights violations were likely to occur.
“They will share experiences and knowledge of human rights issues and devise strategies of improving criminal justice delivery devoid of human rights violations,” he added.
Owete said the training was organised with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The chief executive officer commended the Swiss Government for its support and funding of the training.
He also thanked the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, Controller of Prisons and the Inspector-General of Police for the release of their officials to take part in the training.
The FCT Chief Judge, Justice I.U. Bello, said that a fair and consistent application of the law would put to an end the unacceptable and unjustifiable delays in the disposal of criminal matters.
Bello, represented by the FCT Director of Magistrates, Josephine Obanor, said that the law also addressed the weak records system and judicial oversight over remands.
He said the law also addressed the practice of extracting confessional statements under torture and other oppressive methods of interrogation.
“That the primary concern to the ACJA is the mindless hauling of crime suspects into court before investigations are completed and the excessive time taken to conduct and conclude investigations.
“This consequentially leads to the remand of accused persons pending the conclusion of such investigation and trials,” he said.
Bello expressed hope that the workshop would bridge the wide gap between understanding ACJA and the effective implementation of the reforms contained therein.
Anne-Beatrice Buccinger, Deputy Head of Mission, Switzerland Embassy, said the Swiss government supported the development of training manuals and capacity building for the police and prisons on human rights and criminal administration of justice.
Buccinger said the Swiss government had partnered with several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and civil society in Nigeria.
She said the partnership was in the provision of technical and financial support for projects in the field of human rights and capacity building in the criminal justice administration.
She urged the participant to take the training serious and make sure that the got the best for speedy administration of justice. (NAN)