The poor, vulnerable, and oppressed have a reason to celebrate, as they will soon be having quick access to justice, as the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday, broke an over 80 years world record.
Recall, that the Nigeria Police Force was formed in 1930, although its history began much earlier.
Idris on Wednesday took the bull by the horn, by declaring to set up a new Police Duty Scheme, intended to eliminate illegal detention, torture, and extortion of suspects at Police formation across the country.
This was made known in Abuja, at the launch of a new Force order called the Police Duty Solicitor’s Scheme, PDSS, aimed at ensuring an efficient criminal justice sector in the country.
PDSS which is a tripartite scheme comprising of the Nigeria Police, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, and the Open Society Justice Initiative, is designed to protect and promote the rights of persons arrested and detained by the Police, to easily access legal representation.
The IGP said the scheme will guarantee Lawyers engaged by the Legal Aid Council, access to persons arrested and detained in Police stations across the country.
He added that: “Both the Force and the general public stand to benefit from this Scheme. The public, mainly the poor and the vulnerable arrested by the Police for being in conflict with the law.”
He explained that they would not only have the service of a Counsel free of charge, it is ensured that their rights would be protected.
The legality of the Scheme is derived from section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerians 1999, as amended.
He advised the Legal Aid Council to ensure that the Scheme is not seen as a usurpation of Police functions, but simply to have access to detainees in Police formations, to protect their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.