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Police Brutality CJN Onnoghen directs Magistrates to inspect police stations monthly

The directive is a response to the several complaints from the public about police brutality.

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CJN directs Magistrates to inspect police stations monthly play Masked police officers (illustration) (The Nation)

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has directed Chief Magistrates to make monthly inspection rounds to police stations to curb indiscriminate cases of brutality, inordinate arrest and detention and extortion of Nigerians by police officers.

He issued this directive in a practice direction dated June 20, 2018 and titled "Re: The role of magistrates in curbing Police brutality under the administration of criminal justice act".

According to the directive, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) gives Magistrates oversight functions over police stations in their jurisdictions.

Section 34 (1) of the act states, "The Chief Magistrate, or where there is no Chief Magistrate designated by the Chief Judge for that purpose, shall, at least every month, conduct an inspection of police stations or other places of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than prison."

During inspections, Magistrates are charged with inspecting record of arrest, directing the arraignment of suspects, and granting bail, where appropriate, to suspects who have been refused bail.

The CJN noted that the directive is a response to the several complaints from the public about police brutality which has become overwhelming and worrying.

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