April 22, 2024

Lagos Assembly amends Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State

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Etim Effiong

The Lagos State House of Assembly has on Tuesday amended some of the Criminal Justice Law of the state.

The amended law include: No more parading of suspect by Police; no arrest without warrant unless suspect carries firearms; no more arrests of suspect’s family members.

Others are: No more torture or harassment of suspects before or after arrest, and suspects should have access to lawyers.

According to the assembly, no more parading of suspect by Police. The amended law stated that as from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.

The new law also prohibits any arrest without warrant. Under the new law, police officers must present an arrest warrant before arresting a suspect, and the only condition to do otherwise is when the person is reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments.

It added that in any case where the suspect does not possess weapons or firearms unlawfully, the police must show a warrant of arrest.

Others are: “No more arrest in lieu. This means that a family member or relations of a suspect can no longer be arrested and only the alleged suspect should be arrested.

“The Nigerian Police are used to arresting every person they meet at an arrest location whether the suspect is there or not, this act is no more legal and the police in Lagos can now be sued for arresting friends or family members of a suspect.

“No more harassments or torture of suspects. The new law bars the Police from harassing or torturing a suspect before or after arrest.

“A suspect should also be accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity of person; not subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; be brought before the court as prescribed by this law or any other written law; or be released conditionally or unconditionally.”

The law also mandates the police to allow suspects access to a lawyer, adding that no suspect must be held in custody beyond the lawful day.

“A person arrested shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defense or release.”

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