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‘Government must digitalise criminal record system to tackle corruption in judiciary’

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With allegations that convicted criminals pay N10,000 bribe to prison officials to de-register their names from criminal records, the Federal Government has been urged to digitalise database in Nigerian Correctional Centres to assist in the dispensation of criminal justice in the country.

The Secretary of the Monitoring Committee of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) Sulaiman Kuku-Dawodu, during the bi-monthly meeting of the FCT ACJA on Friday, noted that no prison in developed nations kept manual record like Nigeria.

He lamented a lack of digitalised record of fingerprints of convicted criminals, among other personal information in the nation’s correctional facilities, saying such could aid convicted criminals to use pseudo-identity and pretend as if they had never been convicted.

Kuku-Dawodu said digitalised Criminal Central Registry was fundamental to ensuring the country has a credible criminal justice system.

Also, the Programme Officer with the African Network for Economic and Environment (ANEEJ), Aitokpa Henry-Paul lamented the implementation of the slow administration of criminal justice in the country, particularly in area of expediting proceedings to ensure that judgment and justice are delivered timely.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch, Folarin Aluko said lawyers have been working to ensure the pre-trial process does not impact negatively on Nigerians, adding that they always visit police detention centres monthly to ensure suspects are not detained beyond the constitutional time frame.

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