Ben Dunno, Warri
The Delta State branch of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) has appealed to the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro, to give life to the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in order to enable Magistrate courts tackle cases of abuses and unlawful detention within its jurisdiction.
Coordinator of Udu Unit in Udu Local Government Area, Comrade Derrick Agberen, who made the appeal in a speech delivered during a courtesy visit to the Chief Magistrate Orhunworun Court, Udu, His Lordship Onoriode Asheshe, noted that a lot of injustices would have been addressed through the law.
While lamenting series of abuses, including extortion and unlawful detentions carried out by the police in the course of enforcing law within the council area, the group pleaded with the Chief Judge to assent to the ACJL especially the aspect requesting his approval for the Chief Magistrate at the various council areas to act accordingly.
According to him, “We have observed and received several complaints of the horrific incidents of Police brutality, inordinate arrest, detention and extortion of innocent Nigerians by the Police officers across Udu and Delta States at large.
“These incidents have assumed frightening proportions in recent times. In this regards, CDHR Delta State Chairman Comrade Dr. Prince K. Taiga, has been working tirelessly to see to it that the rights of the citizens are respected and the high level of Police brutality is reduced and totally eradicated out of the system.
“The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has often times received threats and attempted murder attacks by some men of the Nigeria Police Force whom now see us a threat to these dirty acts that they portray.
“Over the weeks in the month of October, the life of one of the CDHR Delta State executives, Assistant Secretary, Comrade Israel Joe, was attempted but thanks to the public and passersby who took interest, hearing the alarming voice of our Comrades as he shouts for help and the situation was rescued after a DPO from one of the Police Stations was called upon.
“It is in this view we are urging the Magistrate to take imperative and necessary approaches in curbing these excesses and acts of shame by the Nigerian Police Force as enshrined by the “Administration of the Criminal Justice Act (ACJL)”.
Responding the Chief Magistrate, Orhunworun Court, Udu, His Lordship Onoriode Asheshe, said she would have wished to act promptly but was constrained by Section 34 (1) of the Act which that “Provides that the Chief Magistrate or any magistrate designated by the Chief Judge to conduct an inspection of police stations and other detention every month.”
She observed that as it were it is incumbent on the Chief Judge to give the approval designating Chief Judge to act, adding that without the CJ approval there was little or nothing anyone can do about it.