On the 22nd of July 2015, LEDAP with the Zonal Command, Nigeria Police Force Zone 2, Onikan Lagos
launched the model police statement taking room with the support of Justice for All (J4A) Programme of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This milestone reaffirms our commitment in building capacity for improved criminal justice delivery in the country.
Over the years, LEDAP has implemented projects aimed at improving criminal justice administration in Nigeria through the training of prosecutors on human rights norms and good practices in criminal case management; review of the Criminal Procedure Laws as well as encouraging Ministries of Justice to be more efficient in the prosecution of cases.
The statement room is designed towards implementing the vital innovations of Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, mainly Section 9(3) which provides that:
“Where any person is arrested with or without a warrant volunteers to make a confessional statement, the police officer shall ensure that the making and taking of such statement is recorded on video and the said recording and copies of it may be produced at the trial provided that in the absence of video facility, the said statement shall be in writing in the presence of a legal practitioner of his choice”.
In order to give effect to this provision and to reduce the usual retraction and denials of confessional statements by defendants at trial, which occasions undue delay in the administration of criminal justice, LEDAP collaborated with the Nigeria police Force Zone 2 command Onikan, Lagos to develop a model statement room that satisfies the requirement of the law.
The statement room will avert the alleged flagrant oppression as well as the inhuman and degrading treatment and torture of suspects by the Nigerian Police in the bid to extract a confessional statement from them, so that the revered and cherished principle “Nemo tenetur seipsum prodere” – No one is bound to betray himself- will not only be said to be applicable in Nigeria but will be seen to be applicable in Nigeria.
Chino Edmund Obiagwu
National Coordinator, LEDAP