These are highlights of the amended criminal justice law
- No more parading of suspect by Police. “As from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.”
- No Arrest without warrant. The new law makes it mandatory for Police to present an arrest warrant before arresting a suspect, and the only condition to do otherwise is when the person is reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments. “In any case where the suspect does not possess weapons or firearms unlawfully, the police must show a warrant of arrest.”
- No more arrest in lieu. This means that a family member or relations of a suspect can no longer be arrested and only the alleged suspect should be arrested.
- The Nigerian Police are used to arresting every person they meet at an arrest location whether the suspect is there or not, this act is no more legal and the police in Lagos can now be sued for arresting friends or family members of a suspect.
- No more harassments or torture of suspects. The new law bars the Police from harassing or torturing a suspect before or after arrest. “A suspect should also be accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity of person; not subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; be brought before the court as prescribed by this law or any other written law; or be released conditionally or unconditionally.”
- Access to lawyer. The new law stipulates that a suspect has the right to a lawyer and must not be held in custody beyond the lawful day. “A person arrested shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defense or release.”