By Chimezie Anaso
“There is no such thing as holding charge in the law books and Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) should stop accepting any person as an inmate without proper documents from the court.’’
Justice Peter Umeadi, Chief Judge of Anambra, gave the warning in Awka at a workshop organised by Uchefem Consults, for officials of the Nigerian Police, NPS, and the judiciary.
The chief judge said that it was wrong to detain suspects on whom nothing implicating was found under `holding charge.’
“I will always defend magistrates who discharge a suspect on whom nothing implicating is found, provided the magistrates acted according to law.’’
Mr Uche Owete, Chief Executive Officer of Uchefem Consults, the organisers of the workshop, said the workshop was aimed at streamlining the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015)
Owete said the implementation of the law required active synergy and streamlining of roles of the various law enforcement agencies.
“This training is aimed at bringing together the police investigation and prosecution segment.
“The lower courts particularly magistrates where the bulk of criminal cases are tried and the prisons where persons are held for a long time without trial, and where human rights violations are likely to occur.
“It will increase cross -sectional coordination, competence and capacities of the actors in criminal justice to effect serious and durable changes in the overall benefit of the NPS and justice system,” he said.
Earlier, the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Mr. Ahmed Ja’afaru, said the Aministration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was a holistic attempt made to put down law that would enhance dispensation of justice and protection of suspects. (NAN)