NOPRIN Launches Book on Administration of Criminal Justice

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National Cordinator NOPRIN, Ikule Emmanuel; NOPRIN Member, Josephine Effah-Chukwuma; Chairperson NOPRIN Coordinating Committee, Saviour Akpan, and Premium Times Reporter, Adedira

Sunday Ehigiator

As part of efforts aimed at promoting law enforcement, accountability, and responsible policing with respect for human rights, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), recently launched a book titled, ‘Police Compliance With The Administration of Criminal justice Act’.

With support from Trust Africa, it is the first time the foundation would be publishing a book with respect to accountable policing and to rule of law.

In his address, the National Coordinator, NOPRIN, Ikule Emmanuel said the book is coming at a time of so many security challenges facing the nation and testing the ability of the Nigeria police to respond.

According to him, “NOPRIN since 2008 has been in the vanguard of several police reform efforts in Nigeria, ranging from legislative advocacy to a CSO panel on police reforms, public tribunals, and sensitisation, etc. all aimed at ensuring that our police are accountable, transparent and respect human rights and the rule of law.

“This book presentation is coming at a time of so many security challenges facing the nation and testing the ability of the Nigeria police to respond.

“From the Boko Haram insurgency that has been with us for 10 years now, to kidnapping which has grown to become a big criminal industry, to sexual offenses especially as they affect children, and more recently, the serial killings of young ladies in Port Harcourt.

“it is also coming at a time when there seems to be an increase in police abuse of power and engagement in extrajudicial killings as recorded in our case management register (CMR) under the project.

“Between April, 2018 and May 2019, NOPRIN recorded no less than 70 cases of reported abuses by the police.

“With the enactment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), at the federal level, and incremental adoption by 15 states, it is time for us all to be awake to our duty of ensuring that the provisions of the ACJA are implemented to the latter, especially as it concerns the police.

“The starting point for this being good welfare packages, it is our hope that with the Police Trust Fund (PTF) signed in June 2019, the police force would get the appropriate funds needed to properly train its officers, equip its stations and officers.

“It is time to dust up and implement the recommendations of the various police reform committees that were setup at different times by different governments, including the recommendations of civil society panel that NOPRIN organised.

“It is our hope that this book, with the well researched and insightful papers contained therein, which were presented at the various convening’s that held in Lagos, Abuja, and Enugu, would not only contribute to knowledge, but would also be a catalyst for change.”

Also speaking, the Chairman, NOPRIN Coordinating Committee, Saviour Akpan, said “Almost 10 years after the amendments to the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos state, the creative push for reform in Lagos state and the lofty goals and the outcomes envisaged by the legislation are yet to be achieved.

“One key factor responsible for the low-level implementation is lack of effective monitoring by the committee setup under the law to monitor implementation.

“Civil society can fill this gap by complimenting the work of the implementation committee, by monitoring police compliance through documenting and tracking cases of police corruption and human rights violations and publicising them to highlight specific areas of deviation from law in every case.

“This is what NOPRIN is set out to do in this project by engaging with the ACJL monitoring committee and police oversight agencies to understand their challenges and to discuss and agree on collaborative efforts that would enhance effective implementation of the law.”