The Nigerian Police Force is central to the successful implementation of the ACJL 2017, being the institution largely responsible for keeping law & order in the State and the first port of call when a crime has been committed. From the point of investigation and arrest of suspects in connection with an alleged offence, leading up to the moment judgment is handed down, the ACJL made ample provisions to guide the conduct of Police officers throughout this stage. Notably, the ACJL makes provisions for the correct mode of effecting arrests and consequences for non-compliance, hence, police officers who arrest persons in contravention of the ACJL, will face the full wrath of the law.
CAPIO mobilized resource persons, among whom was the officer in charge of legal matters at the Enugu State Police Command, to facilitate a training-of-trainers for high-ranking members of the Police Command in Enugu. The training was aimed at providing police officers with in-depth knowledge of the provisions of the ACJL as it applies to them. The police officers were informed of their duties and obligations under the law. Particularly, they were informed of the consequences of non-compliance with provisions of the law. It is noteworthy to mention that prior to the advent of the ACJL, aggrieved members of the public, whose rights were infringed on could only seek redress by suing the Police Force, as a body. This state of affairs made it almost impossible to hold erring police officers accountable for their wrong-doing, as most often than not, the aggrieved citizen could not obtain redress from the Nigerian Police body. However, the ACJL makes provisions for individual police officers to be held accountable for non-compliance with the law. Therefore, a citizen whose rights have been violated by a police officer can maintain an action against such officer and claim damages.
The resource persons took the police officers on the provisions of the ACJL bordering on Arrest, Bail, police searches, warrants, arraignment, and remand proceedings. Senior police officers (notably, the Inspector Crime, Divisional Crime Officer and Investigating Police officer) from all Area command zones in Enugu participated in this training session. At the conclusion of the training, the participants were obliged to conduct a step-down training for other lower-ranking police officers in various police stations within their Area Command. With capacity-building and continuous monitoring, CAPIO aims to ensure that every member of the police force in Enugu is fully abreast of and compliant with the provisions of the ACJL.