ICRC partners Nigerian Police on rights of detainees

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is partnering the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to evaluate how the legal system in Nigeria is handling the pre-trial of detainees.

Mr Eleojo Akpa, the Communication Officer, ICRC, disclosed this in a statement made available on Thursday in Abuja.

Akpa said that the collaboration would examine the progress of the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS).

She explained that the PDSS was launched by the Nigerian Police force in September 2017, as a mechanism for delivering prompt legal services for arrested and detained persons in police formations.

She added that the partnership forum attracted over 150 people, including the Legal Department of the Police Force, the Office of the Vice President and representative of the Open Society Justice initiative.

Others are the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto, Canada, as well as law enforcement and legal experts from the ICRC.

According to Eloi Fillion, ICRC Head of Delegation, said the ICRC’s collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force was to promote respect for the law that protects the rights of persons in detention.

“We clearly recognise the enormous potential of this scheme to protect the rights of suspects through the promotion of a legally compliant pre-trial detention and collaboration among agencies administering criminal justice.

“The ICRC currently has trained over 4,000 police officers, promoting best practices during police operations and has an observer status on the advisory board of the PDSS.

“The ICRC, with the cooperation of the NPF, visited about 1,400 detainees at 11 police stations in seven states, including Abuja, Bauchi, Borno, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Plateau and Rivers,’’ Fillion said.

Mr Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of Police, said the current police management has zero tolerance on violation of the rights of citizens and corruption.

Idris said the PDSS was not only a partnership comprising of the police, the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

He said the collaboration was designed to promote and protect the human rights of citizens.

The ICRC is working to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. (NAN)

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