National News

Overcrowding As JUSUN Strike Enters Second Week

…Inspector-General of Police orders men to avoid unnecessary arrests 

…prolonged strike could cause tension in correctional centres, says NCoS

The Police Force has expressed her dissatisfactions with the strike embarked on by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria as it detention facilities battles overcrowding.

Recall that Judiciary Staff had last week announced an indefinite strike nationwide owning to the denial of the Judiciary it’s constitutionally-guaranteed financial Autonomy and which was correspondently affirmed by a Federal High Court in January.

Consequently, the strike has availed the police and other law enforcement agencies from appearing in courts since it was shut last week.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Monday, CP Frank Mba, the force PRO, said the acting Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, had ordered state commissioners to avoid unnecessary arrests.

He said, “Whenever the court system is paused, the police investigations processes suffer greatly. Our investigation processes also suffer based on the fact that certain orders, authorisations that are supposed to be processed from the court are either delayed or impossible to obtain.

“Consequently, the IG has already issued an internal directive to police commissioners and those heading specialised units to ensure that persons who are qualified to go on bail are granted administrative bail without delay.

“The IG also encouraged officers to explore the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to deal with cases that can be resolved using ADR without infringing on any law. He has also given express directive that conscious efforts should be made to decongest cells and avoid making frivolous arrests or arrests that are not very important in the advancement of the course of justice.”

Reacting to this incidence, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) had called upon the Government to address the issues that led to the strike and further alleged that it was unfortunate to still hear that after several months of court shutdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the cut still have to be closed again.

The senior advocate said, “The courts were on break for almost a year because of COVID-19 challenge. Now that the courts should resume in earnest and the strike, ordinary people are affected. For those who are in prison, their case would have to be adjourned sine die which is not good.

“So, we appeal to the state and federal government to address the demands of these workers.”

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