Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed has charged the Nigeria Police to facilitate prison decongestion across the country.
The CJN stressed that the increase in number of police lawyers would aid the force to facilitate prosecution in all cases up to the Supreme Court.
Justice Mohammed, who handed the charge recently at the opening of the police legal building at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, stressed that the legal profession was important to the police because police prosecutors who are lawyers now have the privilege to prosecute cases beyond the magistrate court.
The CJN said, “The opening of this police legal building is apt because the legal profession is important to the police because in the past, the police didn’t have the privilege to prosecute cases beyond magistrate courts. Now, the police have the privilege to prosecute cases up to the Supreme Court. With this development, very soon the issue of congestion of prisons across the country will be a thing of the past. Make best use of this opportunity so that prison decongestion will be achieved.”
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, during the commissioning ceremony of the police legal building, boasted that the Nigeria Police with over 500 qualified lawyers was one of the institutios with the highest number of lawyers in Nigeria.
Arase said in spite of this rich pool of sound legal minds, the police had not been able to galvanise them to optimal professional performance.
“This is because these officers have been operating without library facilities and office space befitting of their noble profession. Yet they are expected to be at the vanguard of criminal prosecution and sustenance of rule of law standards within the Nigeria police. No police institution can operate under such standard and be expected to conform to rule of law standards in its operations.”


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