Federal government has launched an arrest database where records of arrests by all security agencies are to be henceforth stored to facilitate quick filing of charges and prosecution of offenders on federal offences.
Section 29 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 mandates the inspector-general of police and head of every arresting agency to remit quarterly to the attorney general of the federation, records of all arrests made in relation to federal offences or arrest within Nigeria.
Apart from police, other arresting agencies are Department of State Service (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDSC), and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) among others.
Launching the arrest data base in Abuja at the weekend, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, expressed delight over the achievement.
Malami, who spoke through the solicitor-general of the federation and permanent secretary, Mrs Beatrice Jeddy-Agba thanked the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption British Council (RoLAC) for their support to the Nigerian government.
The solicitor general recalled the resolve of Malami on assumption of office to make a paradigm shift in the justice sector through the deployment of appropriate technologies to drive the administration of justice.
Since then, she said the AGF has worked with development partners to deploy the Q-Soft Denovo Court Recording System (CRS) in July 2021.
Q-Soft Denovo (CRS), is a technology based audio-visual recording and reporting aimed at improving the speed and accuracy of court proceedings, thereby increasing the dispensation of justice adding that in the same year the Ministry also launched two virtual court rooms at the Kuje Correctional Centre.
“Again, the ministry launched its e-library. This has increased the law resources available to the lawyers. Additionally, the Ministry is working to deploy a case management system. This system allows for real-time updates and quick access to case information when needed.
“It allows lawyers access their cases from any location. It allows for case tracking, court schedule and instant transcript easier and less time consuming and additionally, it allows for expediting the reporting of case and improves transparency.
“Today with the support of ROLAC, the Ministry is launching its records of arrest in compliance with obligations of the AGF as stated in section 29(5) of the ACJA 2015,” he said.
The director of Administration of Criminal Justice, Mrs Ayoola Daniels explained that the records of arrest system will allow all relevant agencies to upload their records of arrest with an approved passcode.
The director further hinted that the system will allow the AGF to see at a glance all current records of arrests at the federal level in line with Section 29(5) of the ACJA 2015.
She appealed to other donor agencies to emulate ROLAC’s support towards justice sector reform for Nigeria to keep the pace with international best practices.