The Anambra state police command has criticised the Blueprint investigative report which uncovered that the command has no Criminal Records Registry.
Criminal Records Registry, a statutory provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA 2015), is supposed to be domiciled within the central criminal records registry, however, investigations by this newspaper published on September 1st, proved that such does not exist in Anambra state.
Section 16 (1 to 3) of ACJA Act provided that the police at the force headquarters must have a central criminal records registry, while state police commands and FCT police commands must have criminal records registry, for storage and retrieval of criminal related trials, convictions, among others.
This reporter visited nine police stations across the three Senatorial zones in Anambra state including the state criminal investigative department (CID) and the state police command headquarters, wrote correspondence in compliance to FOI Act but got no evidence from the police that it is in existence.
The command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP Haruna Muhammed was equally contacted two times, on July 30 and August 19 respectively for official interview following our finding that the command has no criminal records registry but he declined, and rather directed the paper to write to the police commissioner.
However, Muhammed, in a message posted on some WhatsApp groups immediately the online version of our investigative story was shared on night of Sunday, September 1st wrote that “The Police have a specific department called central criminal registry (CCR) in Lagos where all criminal records are domiciled. This shows that your research is not exhaustive.”
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The PPRO, however, refused to state whether the command has the so-called CCR Department as well or not, and why they violated the FOI to present evidence of its existence in the state.
He rather added on his social media reaction that “There are procedures for obtaining such records and the reasons why you need them in order not misuse them against your perceived enemies.
“That’s why whenever someone applied for clearance certificate, the Police will check their criminal records and make a comparative analysis between his finger prints and those at the central criminal registry before issuing the clearance certificate.
“Therefore it is the figment of your imagination to conclude that Police does not have criminal records