Cross River State Command of the Nigerian Police Force; the Nigerian Correctional Service and Civil Society Observatory group have brainstormed on ways to bridge the gaps in the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the State.
The Cross River State Commissioner of Police, CP Gyogo Grimah, the immediate Controller of Corrections in the State, Adeyinka Adebayo Oyun, and the Civil Society Observatory group on ACJA, are exploring ideas for effective implementation of the Law in the State.
The Civil Society Observatory Group on ACJA seeks to promote justice sector transparency, accountability, and efficiency, it also creates an operational working mechanism under the project to improve transparency and accountability in the implementation of the ACJA/L project being implemented by the CLEEN Foundation with support from MacArthur Foundation.
During separate meetings with the Commissioner of Police and Controller of Corrections, the group Chairman, Obase Okanke said “The correctional center is a place we cannot joke with and we have deep concerns about how we can assist to lessen the pressure on the Correctional Service. Some things are way above the powers within the correctional institution. For instance, the controller doesn’t determine who is and who’s not here so it is a thing of concern.
“We thank the Commissioner of Police for the privilege to work with the Police, the purpose of these meetings is to intimate the CP of the group; we need the CP to address the Police (his command) on issues of professionalism so that Cross River State can stand out amongst the committee of States.”
Responding, CP Gyogo Grimah advised: “If you (the public) see the Police as your Police, you will hardly have problems. But if you see the Police as their police, that is when the problem begins, because you can’t trust the system. No police officer ordinarily is a mad person, so, distrust of the police is a societal problem.”
On his part, the Former Controller of Corrections, Adeyinka Adebayo Oyun, said: “We do like to partner with any organization that will be of help to us because our job is not a one-man show or business.”
This initiative aims to bring together Civil Society Organizations and stakeholders to foster collaboration, advocacy, and knowledge exchange for the smooth compliance and implementation of ACJA/L in the country and the State in particular.
The group will serve as an avenue for civil society organizations to come together and collectively address pressing gaps and identify the pathway for a more sustained criminal justice system. Through the establishment of the Civil Society Observatory Group, the project seeks to create a platform for ongoing dialogue, information sharing, and collaborative action.