A local police station in Nigeria ©

Nick Cavanagh/Justice for All Nigeria

September 2020

The Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) in the Adamawa State Police Command Headquarters established a model Statement Taking Room (STR) with support from RoLAC. The STR is the first of its kind in northeastern Nigeria and meets international human rights standards when interrogating suspects. 

The STR deepens safeguards for ensuring that suspects make confessional statements voluntarily, without being subjected to torture or duress. It provides a conducive atmosphere for interviewing and taking confessional statements. Video facilities enable the recording of suspect interviews and confessional statements, thereby enhancing transparency of the process. 

The STR responds to concerns regarding the alleged use of torture during the interrogation of crime suspects. It is a significant milestone towards complying with section 19 of the Adamawa State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, which requires that confessional statements of suspects and defendants in criminal cases are not obtained by duress. The law also stipulates that statements are to be made voluntarily and recorded in audio visual format for presentation as evidence in court. 

Investigating police officers (18) in the Adamawa State Police Command were trained on how to conduct effective criminal investigations and human rights compliant interviews with suspects.

This initiative was a direct response by RoLAC to observed capacity gaps in the implementation and compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Adamawa state. 

‘The training has been so insightful. If all investigators had access to this training, involuntary statements would be a thing of the past.’ 

ACP Muntari Jibrin Dawanau 

‘The launch of the STR and training are an important boost to the investigative capacity of the police force.’ 

Olugbenga Adeyanju, Commissioner of Police, Adamawa State Command 

‘Criminal trials fail due to poor investigations. I call on the police to use the STR effectively and build its investigative capacity to ensure that confessional statements and other evidence presented by the prosecution complies with the standard laws of evidence.’ 

Justice Ishaya Kida Banu, Chief Judge, Adamawa state