Protest detention of the poor – Obla urge Nigerians

Oooo Obono-Obla

Nigerians should not just criticize the arrest of high profile individuals rather the large number of poor people presently incarcerated in prisons across the country, the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Okoi Obono Obla has said.

Obla, who spoke yesterday at the opening of the training workshop on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) for justice sector institutions in Abuja, wondered why people are quick to react when high profile arrests are made.

“When we ask big men that have stolen $15bn, $8bn to account for their actions, people come and say ‘hei federal government is disobeying court order!’ Many people are in detention for as low as N5000 and nobody is talking,” he said.

Obla said the congestion in prisons is a source for concern for the monitoring committee on the ACJA because it constitutes a violation of the fundamental rights of the prison inmates.

Responding to complaints that police officers request complainants to fund the investigation of their cases, Obla advised the police to request for crime investigation funding in their annual budget proposal to cater for investigation logistics rather than extort from victims of crime.

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