The flag-off/training of Stakeholders on the Implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Enugu State 2017, held at Justice Umezulike Auditorium, High Court Complex, Enugu on 9th day of July 2018 and brought together key actors and Stakeholders in the state judiciary. The event which was organised by Carmelite Prisoner’s Interest Organisation (CAPIO) with financial support from Misean Cara Ireland, and in conjunction with Enugu state judiciary, started around 12 noon and lasted about 2hrs.
In his opening remarks, the Executive director of CAPIO, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekereoku recalled that the Enugu state House of Assembly on 26th Day of January 2017, passed the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Bill and was signed into law by the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on 26th of March 2017. Fr. Ekereoku however noted that the failure of the law to come into force after 18 months due to lack of compliance and implementation by key players in the criminal justice sector, prompted CAPIO to initiate the implementation project for the improvement of criminal justice administration in Enugu state.
He went further to state that the purpose of the project which is aimed at facilitating the full implementation of the new Administration of criminal justice law of Enugu state 2017, was to ensure that rights of all persons are protected; ‘’Hence, the project seeks to sensitize, train stakeholders, as well as monitor, support the provision and effective utilisation of resources and technologies essential to the full implementation of the law in Enugu state Nigeria’’.
Speaking further at the event, Fr. Ekereoku also reaffirmed the commitment of CAPIO in pursuit of justice in the state by actualising the full implementation of the ACJ law through public involvement and campaigns across media houses in the state, as well as partnership with the Police, the Judiciary, Traditional rulers and the Enugu State Justice Reform Team (ESJRT). He ended by commending Hon. Justice N.P Emehelu for convening the event and also called for support, collaborations and funding from government to provide resources for the full implementation of the law.
Also speaking at the occasion was the facilitator of Enugu State Justice Reform Team (ESJRT), Chief (Mrs) A.J Offiah, who stated the commitment of the ESJRT in implementation of the ACJ law. Quoting section 538(1) of the ACJ law which made provision for the creation of Justice Reform Team thus; ‘’There shall be established, a body to be known as the Enugu State Justice Reform Team’’, Mrs Offiah enlisted the functions to be performed by the ESJRT to include monitoring delivery of justice, initiation of reforms, helping to identify reform options as well as ensuring that the provision of the ACJ law are effectively and efficiently implemented in the state. She also commended CAPIO for their efforts towards ensuring justice delivery in the state and stated the commitment of her team to work with CAPIO; ‘’I want to reaffirm the commitment of the Team to cooperate with CAPIO and indeed all other organisations and stakeholders that may indicate interest in the implementation of this law’’ She concluded.
The Police delegate, Prisons and the director of the CIDJAP, Fr. Anieke all made their remarks, pledging their support and commitment to the full implementation of the ACJ law, as well as maximum cooperation with the CAPIO.
The final remarks at the event were made by the Chief Judge of Enugu State, represented by Justice A.A Nwobodo, who recounted the genesis of the ACJ law to the point of its flag-off and training of Stakeholders. In his remarks, he cited sections of the law which made provisions for arrest of person and where arrested persons wish to make confessional statements in section 17 (2) thus; ‘’The Police shall ensure that the making and taking of such statement is recorded on video or other retrievable electronic devices and the copies thereof may be produced at the trial’’. Speaking further, he announced that 10,000 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Rules have been produced by the Enugu State Judiciary and some will be distributed. He concluded by acknowledging the efforts of CAPIO towards effective dispensation of justice in the State.
The event came to a conclusion with the unveiling and distribution of the ACJ Rule at about 2:30pm in the afternoon.

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