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Group trains law enforcement agencies, others on treatment of petty offenders

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A group under the aegis, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) has trained the law enforcement agencies and stakeholders in Lagos State on human rights and treatment of petty offenders.

PRAWA in†partnership with the National Human Right Commission† (NHRC) and OSIWA organised the†two days workshop in Lagos, which focused on the rationale for decriminalization of petty offences and African commission’s principles on the decriminalization and declassification of petty offences.

The groups also trained the stakeholders on the decriminalization of petty offences in other jurisdictions, due process right and treatment of suspectsí accused of petty offences and alternative to custodial sentences for petty offences.

The groups therefore charged the participants to inculcate the habit of applying basic standard while arresting and prosecuting petty offenders by the law enforcement agencies to avoid criminalizing them.Participants include Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LATMA), Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) and Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) among others.

The participants unanimously regretted that petty offenders languish in prisons and are subjected to the same condition with major criminals.A lot of petty offences, which could ordinarily be resolved amicably out of court or better still give the offenders custodial means of punishment, were usually sent to prison.


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