PRAWA calls for state of emergency in Nigeria’s justice system, engages police, youth, community leaders on Human rights

 PRAWA calls for state of emergency in Nigeria’s justice system, engages police, youth, community leaders on Human rights

as Police boasts of best mechanisms to deal with offenders

Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has called for declaration of the state of emergency in the Nigeria’s justice system.

The Executive Director of PRAWA, Dr Uju Agomoh made the call recently at the flag off of training for police, correctional and judicial officers, youths and community leaders on restorative justice in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

PRAWA is a leading human rights group that is concerned with welfare and rehabilitations of prisoners. They have held several trainings and awareness for all stakeholders to ensure wellbeing of prisoners.

Agomoh who said that the system “stinks” and needs immediate overhauling, declared that Nigerians have lost confidence in the justice system because “it is not working and slow.”

The training was part of human rights and trust building training organised by the PRAWA for the security agencies, youths and members of the community.

In her words, “To declare a state of emergency for the criminal justice system is important at the moment. For us to have a system which is making justice delayed and it is taking so long to confirm whether somebody committed offence or not is a problem.

“So, we think we need to do the right thing and I gave the example of Rwanda, let us begin; everybody has a role to play and we can do it.”

While calling for the adoption of restorative justice, she added that it will assist in restoring confidence and promote peace between offenders and victims.

“Basically, what restorative justice gives to us is like giving us back what we used to know within our traditional justice system.

“Every time, there is an offense, there are certain things that have happened; the victims have been affected, the community in one way or the other have been affected, as well as the offender.

“This restorative justice helps us to pull the victims, the community and the offenders. When the offences occurred, sometimes what the victim want is why was I the one that was attacked? ; was there anything I did. So, it provide the opportunity for the offender to apologize. It will help use to give more quality to justice administration.”

The Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu charged stakeholders to put pressure on the executive in order to revamp the judicial system.

The Chief Judge represented by an High Court Judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, at the training accused the executive of “lacking the political will” to reform the judicial system.

She noted that the judiciary could only do little if “there is no diligent investigation and efficient prosecution” that would lead to proper adjudication.

Human Rights: We have best mechanism to deal with erring officers – Ogun CP

In the same development, Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Lanre Bankole has cautioned officers and men of the command against human rights violations.

Bankole opines that the Nigerian Police Force has the “best mechanism to deal with erring police officers.”

He made this statement on the sidelines of the training organised PRAWA for the Police officers on human rights and trust building.

Present at the training were the Area Commander, Divisional Police Officers, youths and community leaders in the state.

“Officers have to carry out their duties in consonance to the provisions of the law and extant regulations.

“I can tell you that the Nigerian police Force has the best mechanism in dealing with any member of the force when the need arises. And the message is clear, perform your duties your duties according to the dictates of the law.”

The CP noted that the training would enhance the capacity of the officers for better service delivery.

Participants at the training

Deputy Director of PRAWA, Mrs Ogechi Ogu disclosed that about 35 high cadre officers and 150 members of the society including youths, elders and women were selected for the training.

“The essence is to train on Human right, that is the larger part of the training but we are particularizing on trust building and alternative to violence.

“So, we are bringing together the police and the community they serve to build trust to discuss issues of human rights and to deal with issues of violence, proposing alternatives to violence and that particular component is targeting the youths,” Ogu said.

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