The Civil Society Observatory Group on the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria has called on State Governors in Nigeria to adopt the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 in their respective states as a mark of their commitment to justice, public safety and security ahead of the 2019 General Election and beyond.
While making this call in Yola, Adamawa State during her zonal observatory meeting with key sub-national stakeholders in the criminal justice sector, the Group noted that criminal justice administration has been a major concern to citizens as it relates to the protection of their fundamental rights and effective justice system delivery.
The Administration of Criminal Justice Act was enacted in 2015 with innovations to respond to justice and human rights needs of the society, since then only eight states has adopted the law, this has affected the speedy dispensation of justice and the inability of security agencies to garner public trust and confidence that would have help to proactively address the rising cases of crime such as kidnapping and recently the bloody communal crisis in different parts of the country including FCT that have led to the destruction of lives and properties.
The group further call on States such as Akwa Ibom State that have since domesticated the ACJA to endeavor to make it public so as to build citizens capacity to hold the relevant criminal justice agencies accountable because when citizens are informed about what the law says and how best to apply the law, the protection of their rights is better guaranteed.
The group further urged State Governors as Chief Security Officers of their States to ensure that they deliver on their constitutional mandate to ensure the protection of lives and property, as when this social contract is not attainable then election period provides an opportunity to replace such leaders that have failed in their responsibility to guarantee the security of lives and property.
The Observatory pledges its continued commitment to contributing towards the implementation of the ACJA, 2015 in Nigeria.