On Monday 17 February 2020, Onyekachi Umah, Kenechukwu Agwu and others participated in the Workshop for Validation of ACJA Pretrial Manual. The committee was led by Prof. Ernest Ojukwu, SAN (Teacher) at Hawthorn Suites, Abuja. The Committee brainstormed on birthing of a standard Pretrial Manual for Administration of Criminal Justice to increase access to justice and improve clinical legal studies.
The exercise is part of Reforming Pretrial Detention in Kuje Prison Project (Reform Kuje) funded by Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States of America to support the Government of Nigeria (GoN) to achieve a significant reduction in the size of the pre-trial detention population in Kuje Prison.
The project aims to institutionalize a cycle of detainee registration, processing and representation at Kuje Prison. This is being accomplished by monitoring the implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) pre-trial detention provisions and using data to work collaboratively with justice sector actors to address gaps and bottlenecks obstructing implementation of the ACJA. The project through its efforts will contribute to the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
The Advisory Committee is be comprised of a group of 10-12 expert US and Nigerian legal professionals with experience as clinical legal educators, delivering legal aid services directly to pretrial detainees, and/or implementing indigent criminal defense projects. The committee is to provide mentorship and strategic guidance to the Law Clinics Partnership for Kuje prison (LCPK).
The project has a “Reviewing Pre-Trial Curriculum and Handbook” component to provide effective training of law teachers, students and supervisors in prison, human rights, access to justice and criminal justice clinic or programme. Onyekachi and Kenechukwu are members of the Advisory Committee and the Pre-Trial Curriculum and Handbook Review Committee.