A2Justice Advocates Effective Implementation of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law

In 2011 the Lagos State Government passed a new Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Law which repealed the Criminal Procedure Law of Lagos Sate 2004. With the view to enhancing better respect for the rights of citizens by the law enforcement officers, the new law sought to regulate against the hauling of crime suspects into court before investigation, and the practice of extracting confessional statements from crime suspects by means of torture and other oppressive methods of interrogation.
In 2013 A2Justice conducted a research to ascertain the level of awareness, compliance, implementation and enforcement of the ACJ Law by law enforcement officials. Findings from this research indicate that the reforms intended by the Lagos State ACJ Law have not changed the landscape of criminal justice administration in the state. The law enforcement officers – the Police and Magistrates – have mostly ignored the new law in their law enforcement processes.
The basic inference, from the research report, is that law enforcement institutions in Lagos state have fallen short in the implementation of the reforms introduced by the ACJ Law. Creating awareness about the provisions of the law through the training of law enforcement officers and other stake holders was recommended. To this end A2Justice in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice conducted training workshop on the ACJ Law for both the Magistrates and Police in Lagos State on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013. This was the first in a series of training to be conducted by A2Justice with the aim of bridging the gap militating against the understanding and effective implementation of the reforms initiated by the new law. Presentations made at the training workshop included:

Police Interrogation under the ACJ Law of Lagos State: How to Comply with Section 9(3) of the Law
- By The Honourable Attorney General of Lagos, Mr. Ade Ipaye

Report of a Field Survey on the State of Compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law by Police and Magistrate Courts
- By Mr. Leonard Dibia, Director of Programmes, Access to Justice

Undertaking Effective Investigations without Undermining the Rights of Suspects
- By Dr. Gbenga Akingbehin

Principles of Effective Crime Investigation: When to exercise powers of arrest and detention in Criminal Investigation
- By Assistant Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase

Address by Joseph Otteh, Executive Director, Access to Justice.