13th December, 2018, CURE-Nigeria in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission, Nasarawa and Source of Hope Foundation organized a Summit on Criminal Justice Reforms & Human Rights in Nasarawa State, with the theme: The Role of Human Rights and The Rule of Law in the Administration of Criminal Justice System Reforms and prison De-congestion in Nasarawa State. This was held at the Conference hall of the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Lafia, Nasarawa State, and present at the summit were – the Coordinator NHRC, Nasarawa –Nor. Chia Shaku, Nasarawa State Chief Judge -Hon. Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko, Controller of Prisons –Patrick C. Dalyop, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly –Alhaji Balarabe Abdullahi Ibrahim, Commissioner of Police –Yahaya Bello, Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice –Dr. Abdulkarim A. Kana, State Coordinator, Legal Aid Council –Hambal A. Mohammed Zubair, NBA Chairman, Nasarawa State Chapter –S.K. Sheltu, NDLEA Commandant Nasarawa State –Samaila Ethan, CSO’s, Media e.t.c.
at the end of the Summit, a Communique was adopted by all participants…
SUMMIT ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN LAFIA, NASSARAWA STATE.
Participants at the summit on Criminal justice and human rights, with the theme: The Role of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Administration of Criminal Justice System and Prison Decongestion in Nasarawa State held on December, 13, 2018 declared:
WHEREAS there are inadequate court in Nasarawa State and the number of awaiting trial inmates are on the increase;
WHEREAS there is lack of manpower and poor funding of the Legal Aid Council to provide legal services for indigent detainees;
WHEREAS there is lack of professionals such as medical doctors and psychiatrics to meet the needs of sick and mentally-ill inmates in prisons in Nasarawa State;
WHEREAS child exploitation, family separation, increase in domestic violence, illiteracy and in adequate family court remain some of the challenges facing the implementation of the Child Right Law in Nasarawa State;
WHEREAS culture, religion, stigma, and increased interference of traditional rulers, remains a challenge in reporting rape and other forms of abuses of the girl child to the appropriate authorities in accordance with the law;
WHEREAS implementation of existing laws remain a challenge
BE IT RESOLVED
That we affirm that the prisons in Nasarawa State require urgent decongestion and recommend that there should be interventions from the Government, Judiciary, Police and other Stakeholders to achieve this.
That we recommend that there is proper investigation by police before and after arrest, and that the Legal System in Nasarawa State strongly encouragecompliance with the Child Right Law in all matters affecting children inNasarawa State;
That the NPS should recruit and post professionals such as medical doctors and psychiatrics to Nasarawa State.
We further recommend that:
- Nasarawa State should invest more in welfare and social programs, education, job creation, infrastructure and poverty alleviation programs to reduce the rate of crime in the State.
- The State should pass into law the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and should implement Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediation, restorative justice and other traditional methods of solving disputes to reduce dependence on the formal justice system,
- More awareness and sensitization is needed on the Child Right Law, the Anti-Torture Act, as well as on the services of the Legal Aid Council in the State
- More funding of the Legal Aid Council is required
- Juvenile homes should be established to prevent the detention of juveniles in adult prisons, while efforts should be made to divert juveniles in conflict with the law away from the formal justice system
- More judges should be appointment and more courts should be established
- All concerted efforts should be made to reduce the increasing rates of divorce and family separation, as these impacts negatively on children and expose them to abuse
Finally, we recommend that all cases of child abuse must be reported to the appropriate authorities and handled in accordance with the extant laws. Interference by family, traditional or religious institutions must not be allowed.
see links https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IyS534IA54
As part of our International Human Rights With support from Voice, Capio Nigeria in collaboration with Ministry of Interior Nigeria Nigerian Prisons Service, NHRC Nigeria Online, Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants’, CENPRIR(Centre For Prisons Reform And Inmates Rights, Bonum Seeds Foundation, launched the Gender Sensitive Approach for the treatment of Women Prisoners Training Manual for training Institutions in Nigeria. The Honourable Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulraman Bello Danbazau, CFR, PhD unveiled the Manual and charged the Nigerian Prisons Authorities to use the document for the training of prison staff in Nigeria. This event also marked a new beginning of gender awareness and consciousness in the management of Prisons in Nigeria. This manual will have implications for women prisoners nationwide and the status of women in the Prison Service.
The ADVOCATE is a publication of CURE-Nigeria and here’s September 2018 Edition. Read: September 2018 Newsletter
This is a Publication of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) Nigeria, Read:
September 2018 Newsletter
CURE-Nigeria Frees 209 Detainees: From The Legal Aid Desk. By Barr. Judith Ohaeri (Project Manager/HRO)
This report shows how CURE – Nigeria, working to reform the Nigerian criminal justice and prison system, and increase access to justice for all, have been delivering vital support to inmates who can not afford the services of a lawyer. It highlights how we have increased legal support (Pro Bono) for inmates in Keffi, Enugu and Makurdi prisons respectively.
This year, which started in May, CURE – Nigeria took up 27 cases with in the F.C.T, Enugu, and Benue State, with offences ranging from theft, criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, kidnapping, armed robbery among others in lower and higher courts. So far we have concluded 5 cases and 19 cases are ongoing.
However, no progress has been made in the following cases in Makurdi, Benue State:
1. C.O.P v Ruth Okoronkwo
2. C.O.P v LubemAnswen
3. C.O.P v MsughTerver
This is as a result of police unending investigations (Holden Charge). CURE – Nigeria has written to the Attorney General, Benue State, the Chief Judge, Benue State and the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, urging them to look into the matter and take appropriate steps and measures to achieve quick dispensation of justice and help reduce prison congestion in the State.
Overall, a total number of 142 cases have been handled. We withdrew from 44 cases, while 17 cases are ongoing. 80 cases have been concluded, out of which 65 cases have been discharged, 6 cases discharged and acquitted and 10 cases ended in conviction. A grand total of 209 people have been released.
CURE-Nigeria is working with attorneys in Delta and Edo State to expand our legal aid to these states.