CJN Bemoans Cases of Torture, Extortion By Security Agents, Directs Magistrate Courts to Inspect Detention Centres

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has directed Chief Judges of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to compel Chief Magistrates to conduct an inspection of Police Stations or other detention centres within their territorial jurisdiction to ascertain numbers of Nigerians going through torture and dehumanisation in the hands of security agents.
Justice Onnoghen said he was disturbed by several complaints concerning “horrific” incidents of Police brutality, inordinate arrest, detention and extortion of innocent Nigerians by security agents.
In a statement he issued by his media assistant, Awassam Bassey, on Thursday, the CJN maintained that such incidents have assumed frightening proportions in recent times to warrant the intervention of the judiciary.
He bemoaned that Magistrate Courts across the country are currently overwhelmed with cases of such brutality, inordinate arrests and detention of citizens.
“I have observed, and received several complaints of the horrific incidents of Police brutality, inordinate arrest, detention and extortion of innocent Nigerians by Officers across the country. “These incidents have assumed frightening proportions in recent times. The Magistrate Courts are currently overwhelmed with cases of such brutality, inordinate arrests and detention of Citizens.
“As we approach election year, it is imperative that we curb these excesses through the instrumentality of the statutory powers of the courts.
“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) has given Magistrates oversight functions over Police Stations in their Jurisdictions”
Justice Onnoghen stressed further that section 34 (1) of the ACJA empowered Chief Magistrates or any Magistrate designated by the Chief Judge of a State, to conduct an inspection of police stations or other place of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than prison, on monthly basis.
According to him, section 34 (2) of the Act further provided that during such visit, the Magistrate could call for, and inspect the record of arrest; direct the arraignment of the suspect; where bail has been refused, grant bail to any suspect where appropriate if the offence for which the suspect is held, is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate.
“In the above, I hereby direct as follows: The Chief Judge of every state of the nation, including the Federal Capital Territory, shall direct Chief Magistrates, and, where there is no Chief Magistrate within the Police Division, designate any Magistrate for that purpose, to, at least, every month, conduct an inspection of Police Stations or other places of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than prison.
“The Chief Judge of every state of the nation, including the Federal Capital Territory, shall put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure compliance with the above provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act”, the statement added.

Author: News Editor

6469 stories / Browse all stories

Related Stories »

Provide your email below, and we will notify you the latest news freely.

sjdating    

calendar »