By Kingsley Omonobi
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has disclosed that the Nigeria Police force will work in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association to establish a joint committee to harmonize functions and develop a new framework for promoting due process and the Rule of Law.
IGP Alkali said this has become necessary in order to deal with recurring issues of unnecessary antagonism between Police officers and defense attorneys and to promote respect for the rights and privileges of the citizens during criminal investigations.
He made this known during a courtesy call on the Force Leadership by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Olumide Akpata, accompanied by other officials of the Association, on Wednesday, 4th August, 2021, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, the IGP reaffirmed the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to the advancement of the criminal justice processes in Nigeria.
While noting that the committee shall have its members drawn from both the Bar and the NPF, Usman Alkali said the collaboration would also assist in promoting a seamless working relationship between Police officers and defense attorneys.
He acknowledged that the Force has one of the largest pool of licensed legal practitioners in the country even as he revealed that there are plans in place for effective utilization of the Police lawyers as well as advancing professionalism for lawyers within the Force.
President of the NBA in his remarks appreciated the IGP for the various reforms being championed by the current Police leadership, especially those bordering on promoting the rights and privileges of the citizens.
He advocated more goodwill between the Police and members of the Bar as cardinal players within the Nigerian Criminal Justice System and commended the Police Complaint Response Unit for always responding to complaints and issues of frictions between defense lawyers and the Police.
Other members of the NBA delegation are: Barr. John Aikpokpo Martins – NBA Vice President, Mrs Joyce Oduah – NBA General Secretary, Barr. Tunde Edun, Barr. Benard Oniga, and Barr. Isah Abubakar Aliyu.