Nigeria gets arrest database for federal offences
Sets For Quick Charge Of Offenders
The Federal Government has, at last, secured an arrest database for record of arrests by security agencies to facilitate the quick filing of charges and prosecution of offenders on federal offences.
Section 29 of the Administration of Criminal Just Act (ACJA) 2015 mandates the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the head of every arresting agency to remit quarterly, to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), a record of all arrests made in relation to federal offences or arrest within Nigeria.
Apart from the police, other arresting agencies are the Department of State Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Launching the database in Abuja, yesterday, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, expressed delight over the development.
Malami, who spoke through the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, thanked the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) of the British Council, which is funded by the European Union (EU) for its support to the Federal Government.
She recalled the resolve of Malami on the assumption of office to effect a paradigm shift in the justice sector through the deployment of appropriate technologies to drive the administration of justice.
Since then, she added, the AGF has worked with development partners to deploy the Q-Soft Denovo Court Recording System (CRS) in July 2021.
Q-Soft Denovo CRS is a technology-based audio-visual recording and reporting aimed at improving the speed and accuracy of court proceedings, thereby increasing the dispensation of justice.
In the same year, the ministry also launched two virtual courtrooms at the Kuje Correctional Centre, she noted.
“Again, the ministry launched its e-library. This has increased the resources available to the lawyers. The ministry is working to deploy a case management system, which allows for real-time updates and quick access to case information when needed.
“Today, with the support of RoLAC, the ministry is launching its records of arrest in compliance with obligations of the AGF as stated in Section 29(5) of the ACJA 2015.”
At the launch, the Director of Administration of Criminal Justice, Mrs. Ayoola Daniels, explained that the Records of Arrest System would allow all relevant agencies to upload their records of arrest with an approved passcode.
The director hinted that the system would allow the AGF to see at a glance all current records of arrests at the federal level in line with Section 29(5) of the ACJA 2015.
She appealed to other donor agencies to emulate RoLAC’s support towards justice sector reform for Nigeria to keep pace with international best practices.
RoLAC Component Manager, Oluwatoyin Badejegbin, while handing over the database designed for record of arrests, said it would help keep track of criminalities in the country.
Badejegbin explained that the project was strategically aimed at providing clear records for easy access, curbing unwholesome activities of some arresting agencies and keeping track of criminals.