• Torturing crimes suspect without counsel now illegal
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, yesterday ordered the reopening of tertiary institutions closed down due to security challenges in Southern Kaduna.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the governor, Samuel Aruwan, said government announced the reopening following improved security situation in the southern part of the state.
Aruwan, however, disclosed that the state had decided to adopt a multi-campus structure for its tertiary institutions and assigned at least one campus to each council area.
“The new policy has been approved by the State Executive Council as a means to further expand access to higher education, make accreditation of courses more cost-effective and respond to the desire of several communities to host tertiary institutions.
“The government explained that a multi-campus structure will help to make the state’s tertiary institutions more inclusive and expand the range of courses that students can study by making most courses available in all campuses,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the state government has said torturing crime suspects, without obtaining confessional statement, in the absence of a defence counsel to accused persons is now an illegal act.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, Bayero Dari, said the development was the outcome of the Administration of Justice Law signed by Governor El-Rufai, which came into effect on May 29, 2017.
In an interview with journalists after the opening session of a three-day training for stakeholders on administration of justice in Kaduna and promoting United Nations convention against torture, the director said the new law would revolutionise the process of obtaining statements, arrests, prosecution and a timeline, within which people could remain in prison.
Dari added that the state government has already setup a monitoring committee against torture.His words: “Now you can no longer be arrested by proxy, meaning that you can no longer be arrested for offence committed by someone else.
“Secondly, you cannot be interviewed by a police officer in the absence of your counsel. Your legal representative must be around and once the statement is taken, it must be taken with a digital recorder.“A chief magistrate has the right to visit any detention facility and ask about any detained person, why he is detained and how long he has been detained,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Head of Office, Avocats SANS Frontieres, Angela Uwandu, cautioned security agencies to desist from torturing accused persons to obtain information, stressing that such means of confession is barbaric and against the laws of the land.