Magistrates will henceforth pay regular visits to police cells in Bauchi State to ensure that accused persons did not stay for more than 24 hours as part of implementation of Criminal Justice Law in the state.
The Chief Registrar of the Bauchi State High Court, Barrister Emmanuel Danjuma, disclosed this during the inauguration of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee (ACJMC) in the state.
The committee was facilitated by a non-governmental organisation, Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, and it was inaugurated by the state deputy governor, Senator Baba Tela, in Bauchi.
Danjuma said, “What we used to have is, the police would remand you for more than 24 hours. But under this law, magistrates are allowed to visit police stations from time to time to look at police cells, and those that are there. By going there, they will look at what is abnormal and rectify it. If somebody is detained for more than 24 hours, they will ask that he is arraigned.”
Danjuma also decried that the criminal justice system in Nigeria has flaws in many ways, starting from police investigation, the prosecution and arraignment of accused persons.
“The committee should effectively enforce this Administration of Criminal Justice law because it will go a long way in having a very good criminal justice system in Nigeria; not only in Bauchi State,” he said.
On her part, the programme officer of the monitoring committee, Hadiza Usman, explained that they have been engaging with the judiciary in Bauchi State to review the administration of criminal justice law and now formed the monitoring committee.
“We want to make sure that every man and woman in Bauchi State can access the court. We want to ensure there is no victimisation or discrimination in the administration of justice in Bauchi,” she added.