Sets for rapid prosecution of criminals
The federal government has finally secured an arrest database to record arrests made by law enforcement agencies to facilitate rapid indictment and prosecution of criminals in federal crimes.
Section 29 of the Administration of Criminal Just Act (ACJA) 2015 mandates the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the head of each arresting agency to submit to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on a quarterly basis a record of all arrests made in relation to federal offenses or arrests in Nigeria.
Besides the police, other arresting agencies include the Department of State Services (DSS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corruption Practices Commission and Other Related Crimes (ICPC), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSDCC), and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
At the launch of the database yesterday in Abuja, the AGF and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami expressed their delight at the development.
Malami, speaking through the Federation Attorney General and Secretary of State, Ms Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, thanked the European Union (EU)-funded British Council’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) for its support of the federal government.
She recalled Malami’s determination when he took office to bring about a paradigm shift in the justice sector through the use of appropriate technologies to promote the administration of justice.
Since then, she added, AGF has worked with development partners to deliver the Q-Soft Denovo Court Recording System (CRS) in July 2021.
Q-Soft Denovo CRS is a technology-based audiovisual recording and reporting that aims to improve the speed and accuracy of court proceedings, thereby improving justice.
In the same year, the ministry also opened two virtual courtrooms at the Kuje Correctional Center, she noted.
“Again, the ministry launched its e-library. This has increased the resources available to lawyers. The Department is working to provide a case management system that will allow real-time updates and quick access to case information when needed.
“Today, with the support of RoLAC, the Department is releasing its arrest records in accordance with AGF’s obligations under Section 29(5) of the ACJA 2015.”
At the presentation, Director of Criminal Justice Services, Ms Ayoola Daniels, explained that the Records of Arrest System would allow all relevant authorities to upload their arrest records using an approved passcode.
The Director indicated that the system would allow the AGF to see at a glance all current records of federal arrests under Section 29(5) of the 2015 ACJA.
She called on other donor organizations to emulate RoLAC’s support for Nigeria’s judicial sector reform to keep up with international best practices.
Oluwatoyin Badejegbin, component manager of RoLAC, when handing over the database developed to record arrests, said it would help keep a close eye on crime in the country.
Badejegbin explained that the project was strategically aimed at providing clear records for easy access, curbing sinister activities by some arresting agencies, and keeping criminals under surveillance.