Published on Sep 20, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
The Nigeria Police has embarked on measure to eliminate allegation by detainees of prolonged detentions, torture and extortion at Police formations across the country.
This came in the wake of the launching, today, Wednesday, by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim K. Idris, of the Police Duty Solicitors’ Scheme (PDSS), aimed at ensuring an efficient Criminal Justice Sector with emphasis on the rights of persons arrested and detained by the Police to easily access legal representation.
Launching the scheme, Idris said that it will eliminate the usual allegation of prolonged detentions, torture and extortion at Police formations across the country.
“The legality of the Scheme is derived from Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
“Both the Force and the general public stand to benefit from this Scheme. The Police who are often accused of torture and inhuman treatment at police stations will now have an independent person not only to act as a check to their excesses but they could be vital witnesses to the officers when accused wrongly.
“On the other hand, the public, mainly the poor and the vulnerable arrested by the Police for being in conflict with the law will not only have the services of a counsel free of charge to ensure the protection of their rights but at no cost.”
The Police boss said that the management under him has a zero tolerance for the violation of the rights of citizens and corruption.
“There will be no hiding place for officers whose conducts run foul with the law. You must learn to be professional in the discharge of your duties and shun all forms of misconduct. “Equally, I wish to assure you that this Administration rewards honesty and hard work. Any good work of yours will not go unnoticed and unrewarded.
“For our partners, the Legal Aid council and the Open Society Initiative, I commend your efforts in the realisation of this laudable step in the Criminal Justice Sector. You are however advised to ensure that the scheme is not seen as a usurpation of Police functions but simply to have easy access to detainees in the Police formations to protect their rights as guaranteed in the Constitution.”
Idris expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for providing an enabling environment for the Police to perform its constitutional functions.
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