The Prisons Rehabilitation And Welfare Action, PRAWA has urged Akwa Ibom State government to domesticate the administration of criminal Justice act of 2015 in the State excluding the errors there in.
It added that such move would ensure that the justice system works for everyone as the 2015 act had made provisions for non custodial measures in administration of justice.
The Executive director of the group, Dr Uju Agomoh made the call yesterday during a consultative workshop and training for non custodial officers held at the federal secretariat Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
Agomoh noted that the act enacted in 2015 has been domesticated in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and in other States in the country urging Akwa Ibom State government to follow suit in order to boast other platforms that would enhance the administration of justice in the State.
She also called for effective implementation of NCS act of 2019 to ensure that persons who are required not to be sentenced are not sentenced.
According to her, sentencing people who committed minor offences is no longer tenable as it could be counter productive stressing that such persons could be asked to do community service or asked to pay fine as the case might be.
She said, “Our message is clear, we are asking for the effective implementation of non custodial measures in Akwa Ibom State, that is the Nigerian Correctional act of 2019, that means utilizing custody to only those required to be there in the custodial centre.
“Having people who need to spend their sentences in their communities, to do so because by so doing they are giving back to the society and the custodial facilities will not be overstretched, also the correctional officers will not be overwhelmed by excessive inmates
PRAWA is also asking for the domestication of administration of criminal justice act of 2015 by having the administration of criminal justice of Akwa Ibom which should also include the provisions for the non custodial measures and every other platforms that will enhance the administration of criminal justice of 2015″
She however solicited support from relevant stakeholders to enable Non correctional officers to supervise non custodial measures carried out by offenders.
“This time, we want the non custodial officers of the NCS to supervise those that will be sentenced by court to non custodial unit.” Dr. Agomoh said.
She also advocated for restorative justice where the interest of victims is protected and taken into considerations
In his remarks the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, CP Andrew Amiengheme represented by Sunday Ogar promised to ensure the implementation of non custodial measures in the State
Guests at the event included high court judges,justice A.E. Archibong, Justice Theresa Obot, Justice Bennet Ilaumo, Police representative, and management staff of the Noncustodial unit of NCS.