CLEEN Foundation tasks CSOs on ensuring efficient implementation of ACJL

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

A Non-Governmental Organization, CLEEN Foundation has charged the Civil Society Organizations working in Bauchi to ensure adequate Implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in the state.

The Executive Director of the Foundation, Mr. Gad Peter gave the charge on Wednesday while speaking during a 2-day workshop and official Launch of Civil Society Observatory Platform Towards the Efficient Implementation and Compliance with the Law in the state.

While tasking the CSOs to work selflessly to the benefit of the people and the vulnerable members of the society, the Executive Director, said that the workshop drew not less than 20 Heads of Civil Society Organizations in Bauchi as participants.

According to Peter, the Organization which is working with support from Macarthur Foundation expects that the Civil Society Organizations would monitor the implementation of ACJL in the state to ensure its effectiveness.

He said that the essence of the training was to also strengthen and enhance the capacity of the CSOs in Bauchi state to work closely with government agencies, institutions, agencies and stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the Law.

He said by monitoring the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Stakeholders saddled with responsibility are going to live up to their constitutional mandates.

“The democracy Nigerians are enjoying today, the fight against corruption and the cry for social justice are all made possible because Civil Society Organizations have been adding their voices and demanding that appropriate actions should be taken”, he said.

He further explained that, “What we doing today is to enhance the capacities of CSOs and help them form a coalition or network that will be able to work as a team instead of working on individual bases.

According to him, by working as a coalition, they would be able to put subtle pressure on government to do what they are supposed to do.

Gad Peter stressed that CLEEN Foundation is looking forward to the possibility of the CSOs to remind government of its responsibility to decongest prisons from time to time.

“We also expect that the CSOs would work to ensure that the police are reminded that when they arrest suspects, they have a right to life, a lawyer and fair hearing”, he added.

According to him, in the area of criminal cases in court, someone is there to keep an eye to ensure that the proceeds are going appropriately.

Peter also noted that the fight against corruption is a collective effort by all, adding that citizens should serve as whistle blowers in their own capacity to reduce the menace.

While tasking the Civil Society Organizations to try fighting corruption in their own little ways, said fighting corruption should not be left in the hand of the government alone.

“When you talk about corruption, people think that it is only government agencies that should fight it, but in our homes, churches, mosques, our work places, we can also support that effort by stopping corruption in these places”, he said.

Peter said, “when there are bigger cases of corruption, we are able to amplify our voices and demand that government take appropriate action”.

The Executive Director who also told the Civil Society Organizations to utilize the tool of Advocacy to create the needed change in the society, reminded that advocacy requires a clear vision of the desired outcome through a deep understanding of the particular issue as well as the ability to prepare evidence-based policy proposal.

Peter while advising the CSOs to be selfless in their Advocacy, tasked them ensure that the advocacy is tilted toward helping the poor people, the vulnerable and the less privileged members of the society.

“The advocacy should be to the benefit of those whose rights are been violated and cannot defend themselves”, he said.

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