The representative of the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs)from various police stations in Lagos State and other security stakeholders on Wednesday commended an NGO, the Rule of Law and Anti Corruption (RoLAC)for organising a two- day training for their officers on the rule of law.
Oti, who was also a former Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that such training would add to the existing knowledge of the police .
“It is very thoughtful of the organisers of this programme to put this training in place for police officers, bearing in mind that knowledge is power.
“One can only act from the point of what he knows and we have been exposed to things, that ordinarily we might have taken for granted in the past.
“We have been taught a lot about what to expect during the visitation of the magistrate to our various police stations for inspection,” he said.
Oti said that the training was simply to acquaint the police officers with the rule of law and create an enabling environment conducive for the inmates in their cells.
” We are now prepared for a magistrates’ visit every month to our cells for inspection and we are also ready to comply with reporting obligations under the law,” the police officer said.
Earlier, Mr Ajibola Ijimakinwa, the Lagos State Coordinator of RoLAC, had said that the training was to acquaint the DPOs with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
“These provisions mandate heads of police stations and other law enforcement agencies to submit periodic reports on arrests that are conducted without warrant.
“They also obligate designated magistrates to conduct periodic inspection visits to places of detention,” he said.
Mrs Muinat Oyekan, a Chief Magistrate from Abuja, said that the oversight visit of the magistrate to police stations should be done without notice.
Joseph Otteh, a consultant to RoLAC, said that there was the need to educate the DPOs on the importance of due process and why they shoul always be transparent in their dugues in other to achieve the purpose of the ACJA.
Also, Bayo Akinlade, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu branch , said that the initiative would help to protect the rights of suspects and help in decongesting detention centres in Lagos.
Florence Adewale, a legal practitioner and a programme assistant with RoLAC ,appreciated the great turnout by the DPOs for the training despite their tight schedules.
NAN reports that no fewer than 100 police officers attended the training.
Edited by: Edith Bolokor/Peter Dada