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Arrest by proxy remains unlawful, police boss insists


Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, has reminded personnel of the command that arrest by proxy remains unlawful and an offence in the force, just as he canvassed a 21st century criminal justice system in the country.

The police boss stated this yesterday in his office when he received members of the State Working Group on ‘Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Enugu State’ who visited him.He warned those that indulge in such act to desist from it or be ready to face the music if apprehended.

“There is nowhere in our laws, whether sharia or common laws, that it is stated that a suspect can be arrested by proxy.“Arrest by proxy is unlawful, and we have been sounding it to the ears of our officers and men. A father cannot be arrested in place of his son, or mother arrested in place of her daughter. Same way, a relation cannot be arrested in place of a suspect. Anyone who commits an offence must face the consequence,” he said.

He stressed the need for a modern robust practice in the criminal justice system in the country and regretted that even in the 21st century, the nation was still using analog to record statements at the stations and courts.

Executive Director, Women Information Network (WINET), Mrs. Miriam Menkiti, told the police commissioner that the working group was engaging key stakeholders towards implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and Administration of Justice Criminal Law (ACJL) 2017 of Enugu.

Menkiti disclosed that the project was being championed by CLEEN Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, adding that WINET, a non-governmental organisation, and African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) as partners, were in the forefront of ensuring proper implementation of the project in the state.

The working group, she added, is made up of Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) among others.


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