The chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Kano state, Barrister Huwaila Ibrahim, has maintained that the arrest of a person in place of an offender was unlawful under the new Kano State Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in the state.
“Arresting a person in lieu of another person which is the common practice of the police so as to force an offender out of hiding is now categorically prohibited as no law enforcement officer can arrest someone in place of an offender, under the new Kano ACJL which was signed into law in 2019,” she said.
Barrister Ibrahim was speaking Thursday at a one-day sensitization and awareness building workshop on the new Kano state criminal justice law, for 150 civil society organizations in Kano south senatorial district. The workshop was organised by the Kano Civil Society Forum (KCSF) with support from the European Union-funded Rule of Law and Anti – Corruption (RoLAC) programme.
“There has been a series of training and retraining for the police, officials of the correctional centers and other law enforcement agencies as regards proxy arrest and I believe there would be sanctions in the nearest future for law enforcement officers who arrest people on proxy. Section 30 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law prohibits all security agencies from arresting any person in place of a defendant. Similarly, the ACJL also prohibits the police from entertaining all civil matters such as contractual disagreement, breach of contract and all forms of civil wrong doings,” she said.
Dr. Nuhu Musa, a lecturer in private and commercial law at Bayero University said citizens who had been arrested in place of a defendant could seek redress in the court of law. The provision of the ACJL gives citizens the right to challenge or sue any law enforcement officer to a court of law so as to enforce their right if they are unlawfully arrested or arrested by proxy”.
One of the trainees, Habib Awais of Citizen and Development and Education (CDA) charged Civil Society Organizations to sensitize citizens at the grassroots about the new Kano ACJL, so as to enable them stand up for their rights. He blamed ignorance for the continued suffering in silence of people whose rights were constantly been trampled upon.
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