Nelson Olanipekun has advised that the justice sector should top the agenda for Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde who just celebrated 100 days in government.
Nelson, Lead for Citizens Gavel a civic tech and justice sector reform advocacy organisation, believes that “Justice reform that can increase the pace of justice delivery in the state” should top agenda for Makinde’s government.
“Oyo state has one of the highest numbers of awaiting trial detainees, which stands at 86 percent based on our April data survey, this is higher than the National average which stands at 69 percent,” Nelson stated.
In a report by Citizens Gavel 1 of 5 people arrested by Police in Oyo state are been brutalized, from data collected from 16 LGAs in Oyo State, over 20 percent of citizens arrested by the Nigerian police are been brutalized during and before arrest.
It was also gathered that over 80 percent of inmates were not treated fairly by prison wardens against the conditions of detention in police custody and pre-trial detention started in the LUANDA Guidelines Section 24.
Prison Cells in Oyo State are overcrowded. Some very small cells have over 100 detainees.
It was also reported there is very poor hygiene of arrested and detained persons at police stations in Oyo State, which can lead to serious health conditions of inmates. Less than 2 percent have their baths once in a week.
It was also highlighted in the report that over 90 percent of the respondents said they have had very bad experiences in Oyo state Prisons and stations.
Even though N17 billion was the budget allocated for feeding of awaiting trials and convicts in the Nigeria Prisons, less than 4 percent of Oyo inmates were feed twice daily in detention cells.
Despite the N366.1 billion police budget for 2019 less than 7 percent of arrested and detained citizens were given food once daily in Oyo State.
The Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) provision of session 34 says that Magistrates are supposed to be visiting Police stations but due to lack of proper framework to implement the provisions less than 1 percent of the inmates have been visited.
Arrested and detained persons have, according Section 8(1) of ACJL of Oyo State, rights to be informed of reasons their arrest and charges against them but less than 2 percent are notified of the reason for their arrest during or before the arrest.
It was also reported that almost 60 percent of people arrested and inmates in Oyo states are youths.
According to LUANDA guidelines it is the duty of court to ensure that every detainee is represented by a lawyer but 100 percent of respondents say that they were not assigned by a lawyer by the court.
And only 2 out of 100 respondents wrote their statements in front of a lawyer.
Source: The Nation