By Iduozee Paul, Benin
For the protection of the fundamental human rights of citizens, the Edo State Civil Society Organizations have embarked on a one-day sensitization and public awareness on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Edo State.
The body said the ACJL was signed into law in 2018 by the Edo State government with the aim of giving every Edo citizen the right to free bail, access to a lawyer, and be assumed innocent until the court proves him or her guilty.
The awareness campaign put together with the support of the CLEEN Foundation,started with a peaceful rally among the major streets in Benin City, to inform the citizens on their rights whenever they are arrested by any security agencies.
Addressing, passersby, market men and women, motorists and shop owners at Forestry Road and Mission road, in the Ring Road Axis, Comrade Agho Omobude told the people that the police do not have the right to detain a suspect beyond 48 hours.
The human right crusader said the police and other security agencies only have a right to arrest, investigate, persecute and charge suspects to court, but not to force them to write false statements.
Comrade Omobude explained that the Administration of Criminal Justice Law stands against and frowns at prolonged and illegal detention, stressing that no person should be arrested in place of another person. According to him, the law which is recognized by both federal and state governments was enacted to protect the rights of suspects in prison custody.
“We are here to educate, inform and enlighten you on what the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Edo State is talking about. The law says when any security agency arrests suspects, especially the police, they don’t have to beat, torture, harass or intimidate them because by law they are innocent. ”
“You have a right to consult a legal practitioner/ civil society and any person of your choice before writing a statement or answering any question. You have a right to notify your relative upon arrest. You have a right to remain silent until consultation with a legal practitioner or any person of your choice.
“No person should be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. No person should be arrested for a civil matter or breach of contract and a suspect must be accorded humane treatment and dignity,” he stated.
Speaking on the efficacy of the ACJLafter the peaceful rally, the deputy coordinator general of EDOCSO, Annie Iroro, said the core of the rally was to sensitize and create awareness on the vitality of the law and how it will help citizens to know their rights.
Asked if the law will work, she said it would work and has to be put to work.
“The law would work, if tested it would work. We have tested it, it works for us. “Annie Iroro responded. She explained that the campaign will aid the general public in knowing how to use the law and to understand their rights.
In his remarks, the public relations officer of the body, Comrade Osazee Edigin described the campaign as a huge success and noted that the process will still continue to help make the people familiar with the law.
#No to illegal Detention#
#No to Police intimidation#