The National Secretary, Administration of Criminal Justice Management Committee, ACJMC, Sulayman Dawodu has charged the police and the warders across the country not to torture suspects while in custodial centres.
He also affirmed that suspects should not be detained in police custody for more than 24 hours as provided by law.
Dawodu urged magistrates to carry out their oversight functions regularly by visiting the police cells, and prisons to ensure that rights of the detainees were not abused by law enforcement agencies.
He further explained that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, has enough provisions to guarantee the protection of the constitutional rights of persons under arrest, awaiting trial, or sentenced.
The ACJMC scribe said this at a stakeholders’ conference held in Jos, capital of Plateau State.
Dawodu, who emphasised that the conference was important to sensitise stakeholders on the need to effectively implement the Administration of Criminal Justice laws, added that when a convict is serving a jail term at any custodial center in the country, he still enjoys his constitutional rights as a citizen.
In his words, “You are to ensure that suspects are not detained longer than 24 hours, no suspect is tortured and prisoners are given adequate medical care and adequately fed in accordance to the new laws.”
Also speaking, Hon. Chrysanthus Ahmadu, Plateau State Commissioner for Justice also affirmed that under the new criminal law, all detainees have rights and their rights must be protected irrespective of the alleged crime of the detainees.
Ahmadu averred that the new law had been domesticated in the State, saying the training would go a long way in sensitizing stakeholders on ways of its applications.
Participants at the function included men and officers of the Jos Custodial Center, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the NSCDC and magistrates.