The Federal Ministry of Justice has launched the Records of Arrest Database in collaboration with its Partner the Rule of Law and and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC). The event took place on Friday, 2nd September, 2022 in Abuja.
In her Keynote Address, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, (SGF/PS) Beatrice Jedy-Agba OON,mni explained that, Section 29 of the ACJA 2015 mandates the Inspector General Police and Head of every arresting Agencies – DSS, EFCC, ICPC, NCDSC, NDLEA etc. to remit quarterly to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (HAGF) a record of all arrest within Nigeria and with the support of RoLAC, the Ministry was able to achieve it.
The SGF explained that, “the Records of Arrest system will allow all relevant Agencies to upload their records with an approved passcode. Some agencies had already sent in hardcopies of their records, of course this is very tedious to go through. The system also allows the HAGF to see at a glance all Records of Arrest at the Federal level in line with S.29 (5) of the ACJA 2015”.
She informed that,“in April 2020, Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice,(HAGF)Abubakar Malami SAN, through press conference expressed the resolve of the Ministry to make a paradigm shift in justice sector through the deployment of appropriate technologies to drive the administration of justice”. Enumerating on the deployment of technologies in Justice Sector, the SGF said, in July 2021, there was deployment of Q-Soft Denovo Court Recording System (CRS) the technology that based on audio-visual recording and reporting aimed at improving the speed and accuracy of court proceeding. Furthermore, in the same year, the Ministry also launcheed 2 Visual court rooms at Kuje Correctional Centre also E-library in the Ministry. This according to her had increased the legal resources available to the lawyers.
She expressed her appreciation to the Rule of law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), British Council and pleaded for their continuous support.
In her welcome address, Director Administration of Criminal Justice and Reforms Department of the Ministry, Leticia Ayoola- Daniels, said by virtue of section 29 (5) of the ACJA 2015, which gives the HAGF power to set up a manual and electronic crime registry, the SGF/PS approved the creation and provision for a space for a records of arrest Data. Ayoola added that in order to fulfill the mandate, RoLAC, British Council developed the Records of Arrest System with the approved specifications of the ICT Unit of the Ministry, and provided desktops amongst others. She called for more donour Agencies to emmulate support from RoLAC towards Justice Reform so as to keep the pace with international best practices.
In his remarks, the Company Manager, RoLAC, Oluwatosin Badejogbin, said it is the begining of their support that will make people to see towards ensuring that there is a Records of Arrest Database system when an arrest is made. He pledged the assurances of the national program manager of RoLAC for the commitment of EU program. He explained that the Database was not only to make arrest in Nigeria but to give bases for evidence legislature making around policies in Nigeria.
Moreover, it will help to track / monitor crime trends and respond to them accordingly. He pledged their continuous support towards the program. He commended the Records of Arrest Database as a good intervention and that the British Council is proud to co-operate promising to do their best to develop the concept hoping that with the step by step concept there would be a proper Records of Arrest Database.