Human rights group knocks police, judicial officials, demands speedy dispensation of justice

Victims of alleged Police brutality, illegal arrest and detention and other forms of violation of fundamental human rights have been advised to seek legal redress for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

Delta state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor, gave the advice when he received on courtesy call the chairman and executives of Delta state chapter of Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), Prince Kehinde Taiga.

The Attorney-General who was reacting to several allegations raised against the Nigerian police, debunked the allegations that legal opinion were stalled at the ministry.

According to the commissioner, the administration of the criminal justice law which he noted had been domesticated by the state had also drastically reduced the time for rendering of legal advice by the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) to 30 days, adding that the ministry had been complying with the provisions of the law.

He told the CDHR team that visitation by magistrates to police cells was a statutory provision, which he emphasized does not require the consent of the chief judge before magistrates embark on such exercise.

While disclosing that the ministry of justice received an average of 60 case files weekly for rendering of legal advice, Mr Mrakpor pointed out that the administration of criminal justice law was meant to fast track justice delivery and an efficient justice system in the state.

He decried the poor funding of the Nigerian police and the prison services by the federal government and advocated the establishment of state police, arguing that the tier of government constitutionally empowered to control and fund the police was not doing so devotedly.

Earlier, the chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR), Prince Kehinde Taiga, who urged law enforcement agents to show more respect for the rights of people, accused some law enforcement agencies particularly the Nigerian oolice of illegal arrest and detention, brutality and complexity in the remand of suspects unjustly in prison custody.

The human rights activist also condemned the slow pace of criminal trials and incessant adjournments of cases.

The CDHR chairman equally accused the ministry of justice officials of acting as ‘consultants’ to defendants or their cronies to fast track legal opinions and pleaded with the attorney general to accelerate the process of rendering of legal opinion when duplicate files of defendants are forwarded to the ministry from the magistrates courts.

He appealed to the justice commissioner to address the issue of prison congestion and poor detention facilities, and to also prevail on the chief judge of the state to set up a panel of magistrates to be visiting detention facilities in order to checkmate the excesses of law enforcement agents.

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