A former Commissioner of Police (Legal), Force Headquarters, AIG David Igbodo (rtd) has said that the Nigerian Police Force, as a law enforcement agency lacks the capacity to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate of preventing crime in the country.
He stated this at the 3rd national working group meeting on the Administration Of Criminal Justice, Act (ACJA) 2015 by the CLEEN Foundation and MacArthur Foundation on Tuesday in Abuja.
Igbodo noted that the ACJA 2015 when fully implemented will curb the crime rate in the country adding that the police play a critical role in the implementation of the Act.
He however regrets that the police lacks adequate security infrastructures, an efficient database system, in addition to the issue of funding to implement the law.
He said: “The success of the implementation of the ACJA falls heavily on the police, but without capacity, the Police cannot carry out the responsibility.
“A lack of security infrastructure such as a functional CCTV is one of the challenges faced by the police. Another challenge is the lack of a centeral database which has deprived the police of record. A criminal in Abuja can relocate to another state and even change his name and identity and cannot be identified by the police. This is because police does not have Central record.
The ex police commissioner therefore harped on the need to boost the capacity of the Nigeria police to ensure that the ACJA act is fully implemented to curb criminal activities in the country.
On the issue of funding, he said the police trust when passed into Law will help address the issue.”
The Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo while noting that the ACJA was designed to give a face lift to the efficiency of the justice system however said the objective of the Act may never be attained until all relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice system are aligned to work collaboratively to ensure that the Act is not just implemented but fully complied with by all judicial actors concerned.
He further informed that the meeting was convened under a project centered on “Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria”. targeted at the digitization of court proceedings/judgments in Nigeria.
He said the digitization of court proceedings and judgement will promote accountability and transparency in the fight against corruption.
“The project principally seeks to monitor cases of corruption in relation to ACJA 2015 through a web based platform- Uwazi doc which is functional, accessible and within the reach of the public.” He said.