LEGAL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN PENITENTIARIES: A CASE STUDY OF BENUE STATE
BY
ADANG-O-SHIE JOHN SAMBA
MATRIC NO. 16/68DG020
BEING A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, ILORIN, NIGERIA, IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF LAWS (LL.M) IN COMMON LAW
MARCH, 2018.

CERTIFICATION
This is to certify that this dissertation: ‘LEGAL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN PENITENTIARIES: A CASE STUDY OF BENUE STATE’ was written by SAMBA ADANG-O-SHIE JOHN(16/68DG020). It has been read and approved as meeting part of the requirements for the award of Master (LL.M) Degree in Common Law in the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

DR. (MRS.) F. F. ABDULRAZAQDATE SIGNATURE
Supervisor
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DR. A. O SAMBO DATE SIGNATURE
Department Postgraduate
Programmes’ Coordinator………………………………………………….

PROF A. A. OBA DATE SIGNATURE
Dean, Faculty of Law
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External ExaminerDATE SIGNATURE

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ABSTRACT
The Nigeria juvenile justice administration majorly concerned with children who are imprisoned as a result of being accused of committing crimes or sentenced to serve a period or remand in prison. Most existing laws and practices relating to child offenders are based on the laws of Children and Young Person which comes before the evolution of the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC) as well as other international laws regulating and guiding the juvenile justice administration. As a result, these laws provided by the CYPL on how juvenile offenders should be treated, suffered from several inadequacies in the form of legal, planning, policy implementation, education and health. No distinct institution was established neither was a coherent program that dealt with juvenile offenders. However, Nigeria has made efforts to incorporate the principles provided by the Convention of the Right of the Child through its domestication, which brought the Child’s Right Act into existence. The Child Right Act have been incorporated 25 states in Nigeria, including Benue State, and despites its incorporation especially in Benue State being the fulcrum of this research, the juvenile justice system administration in the State do not conform to international standard and provisions of the CRA. This is evident as some child offenders are kept in prisons along with adults and are invariably denied the benefit of humane treatment and relevant educational, vocational, social, recreational and spiritual or religious opportunities for their self-actualization. This clearly goes against the provisions of the CRC and other international guidelines for juvenile justice administration. It is in view of the foregoing that this research investigates the legal rights of children in penitentiaries in Benue State. Thus, the research pointed out some instances of the violation of the rights of juvenile offenders during arrest, trial, in Nigerian Prisons and detention centers in Benue State. This research, which is empirical in nature, was carried out through the use of both doctrinal and non-doctrinal methods, books, statues and reports as well as field research by questionnaires and interviews were used. The study found that, despite the enactment of the Child Rights Act and its subsequent domestication in Benue state, its provisions have not been fully implemented hence, the incessant emergence of the violation of rights of children in Penitentiaries. The study therefore recommended that the government should make more frantic efforts to implement the provisions of the state child rights, create more awareness and enlightenment in the public about its existence, and radically strengthening the available institutional framework for the enforcement of Child Rights Law in Benue State for Maximum enforcement of the Law.

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
A child is generally anyone between birth and puberty or the developmental stage of childhood, between infancy and maturity. The Children and Young Persons Act (CYPA, defined a ‘child’ as any person below 14 years of age while ‘young person’ means any person who is below the age of 17 years but has attained the age of 14 years. The Criminal Procedure Act the foregoing definition under the CYPA. With regards to penal responsibility, Section 50 of the Penal Code (applicable in North states) provides thus: ‘no act is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age; or by a child above seven years of age but under twelve years of age who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and consequence of such act’. However, the Child Right Act defines a child as ‘any person who is below the age of 18 years’.
In view of the above, the significance of children or youths in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. The reason being that, Nigeria is the most populous sub-Saharan country predominantly youthful population. Nevertheless, many of its children face a life of inadequate educational opportunities and poor physical and mental health. In spite of the enormous natural endowment of the country, development has been slow due to poor public management and serious crisis of governance resulting in decaying infrastructure, stagnant economy, and corruption and widespread poverty. A life of want, family instability, exposure to physical, sexual and emotional abuse has been associated with delinquent behaviour among children, and so a large number of Nigerian children have come in contact with the justice system.
It is no longer a secret that, children or young person forms an integral part of any society and are regarded as special gifts from God which are to be protected, guided and guarded. It suffice to say that children constitute one of the most vulnerable and powerless members of the society and they require gentle or careful handling and there must be special attention in the protection and promotion of their interests, welfare and rights. At the seventh Congress, the United Nations approved the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice in 1985. In the Preamble, it is stated that the United Nations recognises:
That the young person, owing to their early stage of human development, requires particular care and assistance with regard to physical, mental and social development and requires legal protection in conditions of peace, freedom, dignity and security.

The Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child at the regional level reiterated or restated this above stated Preamble. Nigeria being a state member to the African Charter and United Nations domesticated it as Child Rights Act and .ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Act provides comprehensive and detailed informations on the treatment of juvenile offenders. However, despite the domestication and ratification at the federal level, most Nigerian States that have domesticated the Child’s Rights Act, do not strictly comply with the provisions on the treatment of juvenile offenders. There are evidences to the effect that rights of the juveniles have been abused and violated on many occasions. It is beyond debate that the foregoing anomaly is one of the world’s social problems which has attracted serious concerns.
Generally, this research aimed at taking a holistic look at or examined the Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria with particular focus or scope on Benue State, Nigeria. Hence the study examines the rights of children in penitentiaries adopting Benue State, Nigeria as a case study. In doing so, this study examines the legal and institutional framework of the Juvenile justice Administration in Benue State, Nigeria as well as the abuse of some of the rights of juveniles in penitentiaries including the inherent effects of the abuse. The study considers the international and national responses to the abuse of children in penitentiaries with the ultimate purpose of proffering recommendations at the end of this research.
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0. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Juvenile problems are as old as creation. The earliest known code of laws, the code of Hammurabi took specific note of duties of the children to parent and prescribed punishment for violations. Even in the Bible, the most mosaic code which was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, hand for hand and bruise for a bruise was also in existence which influenced punishment for criminal acts. Hence, historically, few societies make little distinction of criminal responsibilities between an adult and a child. In ancient Greece and Rome, there was little distinction between rights and expectations of children and those of adult. Later in the Middle Ages, Europe recognized that children under a certain age did not understand the concept of right and wrong, by reason of their ages. Children younger than 7 years could not really be tried for their crimes, because it was presumed that they were too young to understand what they were doing. Children between 7 and 14 years could be tried but only if it was proven that they had the mental capacity to comprehend the nature and consequences of their behaviour. However, with the increase in delinquent behaviour among juveniles, the child savers movement convinced the State legislatures to separate delinquent and wayward children from adult criminals. Their effort was rewarded when the Illinois Juvenile Court Act was passed in 1899 which established the first Juvenile Court in Chicago. This legislation created or founded a new kind of machinery outside the criminal law for handling juvenile or young offenders. Every states in the United States including all modern and developed societies have since developed special legal procedures for handling juvenile offenders. The defining features of the Juvenile Court are its informality, confidentiality and its non-adversarial method.

Nigeria juvenile justice system which was modeled after the British system was established in 1914. The first major piece of legislation with regards to children and young persons in Nigeria was The Children and Young Persons Act of 1943 (CYPA) on the order of the Government –in-Council of the British Colonial government. The Act was first enacted to be applicable in every part of the protectorate of Nigeria, it was later specifically enacted for Lagos in 1946 and later on extended to Eastern and Western Regions of Nigeria in the same year. A similar law was enacted for the Northern Region of the country in 1958. Subsequently, on the introduction of the state structure in the country, Lagos State along with many others enacted their Children and Young Person’s Law. Thereafter, Nigeria ratified the Convention on Rights of the Child in 1989 and established the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. Going by its incorporation doctrine contain in Section 12 of the 1999 Constitution, any treaty Nigeria adopts will not automatically become a law unless it has been approved or domesticated by the House of Assembly of each State and since 2003, 23 states out of the 36 States in the country have passed the Act into their state’s law. Hence, States that have incorporated the Child’s Right Act apply its provisions on juvenile justice system while States that have not incorporated the Child’s Rights Act apply the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Law.

It is therefore worthy of note that despite the robust provisions on Juvenile Justice System enjoyed by the states that have domesticated the Child Rights Act, especially Benue State of Nigeria being the subject matter of this research, the maltreatment or mistreatment of children in penitentiaries and the abuse of the rights of juvenile offenders continues to be on the increase. This therefore is the reason this study examines the rights of the children in penitentiaries with Benue State of Nigeria being used as a case study.

0. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Benue State does not have a properly, well established, or adequately fixed and equipped institution and clearly stated programmes to tackle juvenile offenders in the State. The legislative and institutional facilities on ground are not properly enforced and managed. Thus it is pertinent to ask, how then does the State treat juveniles in conflict with the law?
Juvenile offenders rights are sometimes violated and they are said not to receive adequate care and treatment. Therefore they miss relevant and essential education, vocations, recreations and religious programmes that are meant to enable them actualize themselves. With the adoption of the CRA into law by Benue State in 2008, it is also relevant to ask, have the personnel involved in juvenile justice been trained for its effective application. In addition, juveniles are detained for long while waiting to appear in Court. Corruption is said to be in existence among members of staff in juvenile justice system. These are some of the challenges that leads to the question, ‘does the government have the best interest of their youths and children at heart?’
Finally, it has been observed that juvenile offenders are often tried, jailed and incarcerated with adults instead of been reformed and non-custodial forms of punishment. This treatment goes contrary to international and national or domestic legal frameworks that guide and regulate the administration of juvenile justice system. It is indicated from the Northern Consultative Conference’s Report (2002) on Juvenile Justice Administration that despite Nigeria being a signatory to the International instruments on Juvenile Justice Administration, the sector (that is, the Juvenile Justice System) has remained a weak sector with little or no priority from the judicial system. Furthermore, lack, inadequacy or unavailability of juvenile courts and poor legal representation for children during prosecution or trial results into many children or young people being kept in custody or incarcerated with adults.
0. AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The general aim and objective of this research is to investigate or examine the experience and perception of juvenile offenders as well as the officials who administer or implement juvenile laws and the management of juvenile custodial institutions in Benue State. The specific aims and objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the legal and institutional framework of the Juvenile Justice System/Administration in Benue State of Nigeria.

2. To examine the extent of the abuse of the rights of the children in penitentiaries and the inherent effects of same on the relevant stakeholders in Benue State.

3. To analyze the perception of juvenile justice by juvenile offenders in custody in Benue State.

4. To analyze the appropriateness and adequacy of the responses by the international communities and Nigerian government towards the abuse of juveniles rights with a view to proffering recommendations accordingly.

1.4.0. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions in this research are couched thus:
(1) What are the legal frameworks for the administration juvenile justice in Benue State?
(2) Are the laws relevant to guide and or regulate juvenile justice system applied during the administration of juvenile justice on children or young person in Benue State?
(3) Does the Benue State’s juvenile justice administration comply with or adhere to the provision of Child’s Right Act it domesticated?
(4) Are the facilities put in place for juvenile justice administration adequate and convenient?
(5) How adequate and capable are the personnel or officials responsible for the administration of juvenile justice in Benue State?
(6) Are the right of children kept in Benue State remand home protected?
(7) What step can be taken to improve the administration of juvenile justice in the State?
1.5.0. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Geographically, this study is conducted within the confines of Benue State of Nigeria. The study assesses or examines the international legal frameworks and instruments as well as the municipal legislations or legal instruments that are applicable in the administration of the juvenile justice system in Benue State. The study relied on oral and questionnaire data gathering that were got from both juveniles (who in conflict with the law or violates the law) and administrative staff as well as other personnel involved in the administration of juvenile justice and the personal observations of the researcher. The study focused primarily on the remand home in Benue State of Nigeria. The study addressed specific areas such as the various classification and ages of children involved in the system of juvenile justice; the socio-economic background of juvenile offenders, the attitudes towards juvenile offenders and how they are treated; the obtainable legal protections that are in place for children who are being deprived of their liberty; the operations or management of the institutions and detention facilities put in place for children deprived of their liberty, conditions for detention; the funding of the juvenile justice system; the staffing or officials of these institutions and the extent of government participation in the juvenile justice system of Benue State.
1.6.0. METHODOLOGY
The methodology to be adopted in this research is both doctrinal and non-doctrinal. Emphasis shall be placed on two major sources, namely, primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources of research materials include legislation, case law, international instruments and treaties. The secondary sources include textbooks, journals, internet articles and publications as well as materials or literature from UNICEF on the subject matter of the research.

During the research, visits will be made to some selected Magistrate Courts and police station particularly the State Criminal Investigation Department and state Juvenile Justice Welfare, as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs and social development, for the purpose of conducting oral interview with key role players. All these, as well as the personal observations of the researcher on the topic of study will be resorted to as a method in this Research.

1.7.0. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Right
The word ‘Right’ is derived from the Latin word ‘rectus’ which means straight, right as opposed to wrong. It may also mean in accordance with morality, justice and the law. As a norm, the word ‘right’ may be construed to mean, that to which a person has just and valid claim, whether it is land or simply privilege of doing something or saying something, such as the right to freedom of speech.
Generally speaking, a right is either the freedom to perform (protected by law) or freedom not to perform certain acts or actions, or the authority (enforced by law) of compelling a specific person or persons to perform or abstain from performing a particular Act. A legal right therefore is or could be the capacity of controlling residing in one person, with the assent and assistance of the State, against the action of others. Hence, every right involves a person vested with the right, or entitled to the right, person or persons who by virtue of that right, are expected to perform a duty or obligation; an act of forbearance which is the subject matter of right and in some cases an object, that is, a person or thing to which the right has reference, as in the case of ownership. A Right in general, is a well-founded claim, and when such a claim is recognized by the Law, it invariably becomes a legal right enforceable by the power of the State.

Child
Biologically, a child is a human being that is between the stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of child describes it as “a minor” (sui juris), in other words, a human being that is younger than a person below the age of majority. A child is anyone who is between the age or stage of birth and puberty or the developmental stage of childhood, (that is a period between infancy and adulthood). Some English definitions of the word “child” include “the foetus” (sometimes referred to as the “unborn”). In some cultures, a child is considered an adult after undergoing the right of passage, which may or may not correspond to the age or period of puberty. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as “A human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”. The term “child” may also describe the relationship with a parent and offspring. A ‘child’ should be distinguished from a ‘minor’ who is usually below 18 years in most cases. The Children and Young Persons Act, provides that a ‘child’ means a person under the age of 14 years while ‘young person’ means any person who is under the age of 17 years but has attained the age of fourteen years. The Criminal Procedure Act adopts the same definition offered by the Children and Young People Act. As for penal responsibility, Section 50 of the Penal Code states: “no act is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age; or by a child above seven years of age but under twelve years of age who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and consequence of such act”. In the same vein, the Child Right Act defines a child “as any person who has not attained the age of 18 years”. Similarly, the Child Rights Law of Benue State also defines a child as “any person who is not up to 18 years of age”.

Penitentiaries
Penitentiary is an institution that houses criminals convicted of serious crimes. Penitentiaries exist, both at the federal and state levels. They are also called prisons. They aim to ensure the physical safety of all inmates through a controlled environment which meets each inmates need for security through the elimination of violence, predatory behaviour, gang activity, drug use and inmate weapons. Through the provision of health care, mental, spiritual, education, vocational and work programs, inmates are prepared for productive and crime free return to society. Inmates are classified into these different facilities based on the inmate’s needs and the security risk of the inmates.

Juvenile Delinquency
There is no clear-cut definition of delinquency. The definition of delinquency and the scope of behaviour covered by the term vary overtime and across societies.
Delinquency and crime are social and political construct. There are no acts of behaviours that are intrinsically criminal or delinquent. The use of the criminal and delinquent labels to behaviours and actions are determined by socio-economic and political factors. Simply stated, it is not all socially injurious conduct that are labeled as crimes and delinquency that can produce grievious social injuries. Whether actions and behaviour are labeled as criminals or delinquent or not, depend on the interplay of economic, political and social factors in the society at a particular point in time.

There is no unanimous definition of a “juvenile” or “delinquency”. The laws of different States stipulate different age bracket for the juveniles. Besides, the concepts are sometimes used interchangeably with other concepts like a child, and adolescent and a youth. But the law is usually not specific in its definition of a child or juvenile or youth. Furthermore, definitions of delinquency usually reflect the confusion over such terms like a child, a teenager, an adolescent, a juvenile and a youth. Block and Flynn argued that, “not only the legal authorities and so called experts disagree over the definition of delinquent behaviour, they also have serious differences as to where delinquency under the law begins and where it should end”.

1.8.0. LITERATURE REVIEW
Suffice to state first and foremost, that there is a dearth of literature and decided cases on the research topic. In any case, the few available materials in the form of books on Juvenile Justice Administrations, publications, seminar papers and materials from United Nations Children’s Fund and other relevant international reports be consulted.

The Child Rights Act, 2003 provisions invariably form the nucleus of this research work and it will be examined. The Act is comprehensive on all issues affecting the child, except for the fact that its provisions on adoption, guardianship, inheritance among others does not take into account the religious and cultural practices of the diverse Nigerian society, as it is seemingly perceived as offending the teaching and practice of Islam. This development has undermined its adoption in most parts of northern Nigeria. However, its provision on child justice administration with all intent and purpose is not contentious. It is strongly suggested that it can safely be incorporated in the Children and Young Persons’ Law of States that are yet to adopt the CRA the full benefit of the child.

Uzodike discussed the attempt by Nigeria to comply with the principles and standards set by the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child which, this attempt was finally culminate by the enactment of the Child Rights Act in the year 2003. She observed that the Act, has consolidated all aspects of children’s issues, stating that, many areas such as the marriageable age, establishment of family courts, and child justice system which had been neglected over the years has now been addressed. Uzodike further stated that,the Act succeeded in portraying children not as the property of their parents or guardians but as individual human beings with full rights to legal protection. Her main focus, was the examination of some of the provisions of the Child Rights Act, the extent to which the Act meets the standard set by the international covenants on children’s rights, the gradual changing attitude of government and the people towards treatment of children, the constitutional, logistic and other problems challenging the proper implementation of that Act and suggestions on the way forward.

Bamgbose on his part discussed extensively, the history of juvenile delinquency and the paradigm shift from the ancient traditional juvenile justice administration. Bamgbose further highlighted the modern juvenile justice system in Nigeria; he refers to the enactment of the Child Rights Act in Nigeria as a major leap for the juvenile/child justice system in Nigeria. He however recommended that there is still need for further reevaluation of the laws, agencies and the general juvenile/child justice system in Nigeria.

The ‘Report of the Mapping and Assessment of Child Protection Systems in Benue State’ in a chapter titled “gasps and recommendations” discussed extensively about the lack of awareness of the Child Right Law, the non-functionality of family court in the state. It further analyzed issues relating to the lack of adequate child correctional centers and personnel in the state. This report was based on a call for an alternative approach to the traditional parallel responses and is made possible by numerous institutions and individuals dedicated to improving the child protection system in Nigeria.
The ‘Guidance For Legislative Reform On Juvenile Justice’ by the Children’s Legal Centre and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) child protection section-provides standards and norms of juvenile justice. It advocates a separate and completely different system for juvenile.

The author discussed the principles in the CRC with focus on ‘best interest of the child’, non-discrimination, right to life, survival and development, and the right to be heard. The general principles of the juvenile justice system were discussed extensively.
Ibraheem Tajudeen in his article discussed the child rights in Nigeria generally with a view of coming up with a legal framework for the protection of child rights in Nigeria. He sees children as vulnerable and deserve laws to cater for their rights. He further discuss the Nigerian legal system as it relates to children and examines the UN CRC and the Nigerian CRA 2003.
Obidimma and Obidimma examined the challenges and prospects of the juvenile justice Administration in the South-East Nigeria. They observed that, the first challenge is the foundation of the juvenile justice system in Nigeria owing to the fact that the existing machineries for administration of justice, the police, the courts and the prisons were put in place by the colonial masters who used them for oppression and not security.
Obidimma and Obidimma further make an attempt at analyzing the disparity in the provision of the Child Right Act and the Children and Young Person Law with focus on the CRA and on the provision that provide for punishment with emphasis on the Best Interest of the child. They conclusively advocated for full implementation of the provisions of the CRA and therefore recommended that all juvenile justice system personnel be fully trained in human rights and child rights as well as in the management of the welfare of the juvenile.

According to Alemika, the juvenile justice administration through the Borstal institutions in Nigeria exhibit several inadequacies in philosophy, legal frame work, administration and facilities for the practical treatment of juvenile offenders. In all, despite official statements and rhetoric, the juvenile institutions (courts, police, remand homes, approved institutions and Borstal homes) have not fulfilled the goals for which they were established. In the words of Mboho, the functioning of the focus groups on juvenile justice is hindered by factors which then prevent the proper implementation of Child Rights Act which in a way should solidify the functioning of the various components of juvenile justice in Nigeria.

In the same vein, Ijaiya views juvenile justice system as an integral part of the criminal justice system. She however, is of the opinion that, the Nigerian justice system agencies such as the police, courts, remand homes, approved schools, Borstal and prisons lack adequate and qualified workers that are able to meet the needs, concerns and aspirations of the juvenile offenders.

Cipriani briefly stated that, the theoretical foundation of juvenile justice system is diverse, building from the classical typology of the so called “welfare model” and the “justice model” to meet recent typologies including the “participatory model”, “modified justice model”, “crime control model”, “corporatist model”, “minimum intervention model”, “restorative justice model” and the “neo-correctionalist model”. This is a position also largely supported by Pruin, in his work. It is noteworthy however that the different theoretical models of juvenile justice may be faced with challenges in Nigeria due to identified challenges.

Onyemachi elaborates on the status of children in the Nigerian society. His discussion is based on the Adoption of juvenile justice system in Nigeria and mentions of a number of factors and instance that affect the rights and status of children in Nigeria which according to him includes child abuse, and child labour. The paper concludes by stating that, adequate measures be provided for the effectiveness and smooth running of the available child right laws and juvenile justice system in Nigeria.

Adam undertook a cursory study of the subject matter of juvenile justice, and identified its measures, scope and application under the Nigeria Judicial System. He juxtaposed juvenile justice with the background of the development of child welfare system especially in the view of the Child Right Act and the Nigeria’s legislation with a purpose or objective of advancing the frontiers of the development and protection of the Nigerian child.

Marcus Ayodeji Araromi examined generally the rights of prisoners under the Nigerian Law. He stated that, prisoners undergoing any form of sentence by the court by being in custody or incarceration do not by virtue of such sentence or custody or incarceration exclusively lose his rights as a human being or as a member of the society and must, therefore, enjoy some basic rights despite being in confinement. He further observed that, prisoners are seen as lesser human beings compared to other members of the society and are not treated well when observing or serving their custodian sentence. He further stated that, the prisoners are denied some of their rights by the prison administrators or personnel and state by extension, instead of promoting an enabling proper environment for proper treatment of the prisoners. It is against this inadequacy that Araromi appraised the rights of prisoners that they are to be respected and protected under the law either at national, regional or international levels. He acknowledged the existence of certain global standards for the treatment of prisoners, which are not currently followed in the Nigerian prison administration. He made an evaluation of how fundamental human rights fare in the Nigerian prison system, and itemized practical measures that must be established to ensure the protection and fulfillment of these rights in Nigeria.

1.9.0. CONCLUSION
This chapter highlighted the main purpose of this research by setting the pace for the remaining research and subsequent chapters in this work.
It is therefore safe to conclude from the foregoing that despite the children’s inherent rights at all times, even during incarceration as supported by a number of international instruments and local enactments in Nigeria, the rights of the children in penitentiaries continue to be violated in Benue State of Nigeria. Without doubts, this is the foundation upon which this research embarked upon with a view to proffer lasting recommendations at the conclusion of the study.
CHAPTER TWO
INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS ON JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION
2.1.0 Introduction
In the past three decades, the United Nations internationally and the Council of Europe at regional level, have actively been involved in the development of international standards for the effective administration juvenile justice globaly. Dating from 1955 to date, there exist no less than 15 different national human rights instruments and other related guidelines, which contain several Articles, rules, guidelines or provisions, providing for alternative measures for handling or taking care of children who are in conflict with the law that is, violate the law. International instruments which are Child specific in nature, such as the United Nations Rules for The Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights and welfare of the Child have played crucial roles in setting out states’ obligation towards young offenders. The treaties along with their enforcement and monitoring bodies have developed and set international standards by which children in conflict with the law are treated. Against this background, this chapter investigates the relevant contents and provisions of the identified international instruments on juvenile justice administration with a view to ascertain the rights available to juveniles being an important member and future of any given society.

2.1.1 The United Nation Conventions on the Right of the Child.

The United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter abbreviated as CRC, or UNCRC) provides for the civil rights, political rights, economic rights, social rights and cultural rights of children is a treaty adopted by the UN General assembly and was opened for signature on 20 November 1989 and it came into force on 2 September 1990, after it had been ratified by the required number of nations. It has four general principles which are, the right to life, not to be discriminated against, survival and development, the final principle is the requirement that in all matters and cases involving children, the best interest of the child will be the primary factor to be considered when making decisions and that the child has the right to be heard before decisions that affect him or her are made. Nations that ratified this convention were bound to comply with its provision and compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the right of the child.

The Preamble to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which was adopted on 20 November 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly, states that “the child, by reason of his physical and mental maturity, needs special safeguard and care including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth.” This statement endorses the perception of children as vulnerable group in society deserving special protection, a perception that influences the philosophy of juvenile justice.

The UN CRC provides that;
State parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse…
Juvenile offenders are predominantly vulnerable to such conditions to which this article seeks to prevent (conditions such as physical abuse, and owing to the fact that they can barely protest against abuse of their rights, they face such abuse daily). Articles 37 and 40 of the UNCRC deal directly with the handling of child offenders by the government and its juvenile justice agencies.
Article 37 of the UNCRC provides that “all States Parties shall guarantee that no juvenile shall be subjected to any form of inhumane or degrading treatment, or torture or any cruel punishment. No person below the age of 18 years shall be sentenced to either capital punishment or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.” It further provides that, “the process of deprivation of liberty of children must be lawful and not arbitrary, the process of arrest, detention and imprisonment shall be done in conformity with the law, and this shall be done only as a last resort and will be for the shortest time possible”. Article 37 (c) provides that,
“All children that have been deprived of their liberty, shall be given humane treatment their dignity as a human person shall be respected in a manner which takes into account the needs of young persons of his or her age. Every child deprived of liberty shall be detained or imprisoned separated from adults unless it is in the best interest of the child not to do so and the child shall have the right to be in regular contact with his or her family, except in exceptional circumstances.”
The United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child further provides in Article 40, that “principle should guide the treatment of young offenders”. Article 40(1) provides for the recognition by all state parties that:
“The rights of every child who is accused of an offence or is said to have infringed the Penal Law. State parties are to treat such children in a manner which is not inconsistent with the promotion of the sense of dignity and worth of the child and reinforces the respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms of other individuals, taking into account the age of the child. Member states should as much as possible, promote the reintegration of the child with the aim of assuming a constructive role …”.

Basically, from the above provision, it is important that member states strive to promote the reintegration of juvenile offenders in the society and assume a constructive role rather than inflicting punishment or executing retribution and vengeance on children or juveniles. Article 40(2) basically consists of provisions on the right of the child and treatment of the child during trial. It provides that, “the Child has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law”, “to be informed promptly of the charges for which he/she is being tried”, and the child has “the right to have a legal or other appropriate assistance and representation”. The child, by law has “the right to enjoy a speedy and fair trial by an independent, impartial and competent court, judicial body or any other authority or body authorized to do so in accordance to the law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance unless it will not be in the best interest of the child,” particularly considering the situation or the age of the child. The child, by right, shall not be compelled to give testimony or confess to guilt. The child has the right to appeal the judgment if he/she is dissatisfied with the outcome of his/her trial by the court of first instance.
The treaty in provision of fundamental principles of juvenile justice system provided that, every State party shall promote the establishment and enforcement of laws and procedures, as well as authorities and institutions that will accommodate children who come in contact with the law, state parties shall also establish a minimum age of criminal responsibility, below which, a child shall not be presumed to have the mental and physical capacity to infringe the penal law and the state parties shall further establish measures in accordance with human rights and legal safeguards, for dealing with such children without resorting to judicial proceedings..
Article 40 (4) made provision for the treatment programme for juvenile offenders adjudged to have infringed the law, it provides for a variety of disposition such as care, guidance and suspension others, counseling, probation, foster care, educational and vocational training programmes and other institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their wellbeing and proportionate to both their circumstances and their offenses.

Undoubtedly, these provisions serve as guidance to member nations of the United Nations for the treatment of juvenile offenders with a view to ensure that, the rights of the children in Penitentiaries are protected and their rights duly observed and enforced.
2.1.2 The United Nation Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Justice (Beijing Rules).

The United Nation Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Justice, which also refer to as the Beijing Rules, was adopted in 1985 by the United Nations. It serves as a guide to states for the protection of children’s rights and respect for their needs in the development of separate and specialised systems of juvenile justice. It contains 30 broad rules and the rules are divided into 6 parts and are accompanied by commentary expanding each individual rules. These six parts are
General principles
Investigation and prosecution
Adjudication and disposition
Non institutional treatment
Institutional treatment, and
Research, planning, policy formulation and evaluation
The Beijing Rules laid down several principles to guide member states in the administration of juvenile justice system. Under the commentary, it was stated that, rules 1.1 to 1.3 elaborates on the importance of a constructive social policy for juveniles in the prevention of the juvenile delinquency by providing in rule 1.1 that member states shall, having considered their respective general interests, seek to ensure the well-being of the juvenile and his or her family.

Rule 1.2 provides that, member states should make efforts to put in place conducive environment that will guarantee a meaningful life in the community for children when they are most susceptible to deviant behavior, this will in effect promote a process of personal development that is free from crime.

Rule 1.3 further provides that, the government through the appropriate authority, shall devote sufficient attention to provide positive measures that involves the full mobilization of all possible resources, including the family, volunteers and other community institutions, for the sole purpose of promoting the juveniles well-being, with a view to reducing the need for intervention under the law, and effectively, fairly and humanely dealing with children in conflict with the law.

Rule 7.1 provides that, member states shall establish basic procedural safeguard which include, the right to be presumed of innocent until contrary is proved (or proven guilty), the right to be duly informed of all charges (right to be informed), the right to remain silent (right to silence), the right to legal representation, the right to present a parent or a guardian, the right to cross examine witnesses and also the right to appeal to a higher authority if dissatisfied with decision of a trial or lower court, these rights should be guaranteed at all stages of court proceeding.

Rule 8 provides for the right of privacy of the juvenile. It is to the effect that, the right to privacy of the juvenile shall be respected during all stages, this will effectively prevent any form of harm that may be caused to him or her by undue publicity or by the process of labeling and theoretically, there shall be no publication or publicity of any information that may lead to the identification of the juvenile.

The rule makes a comprehensive list of rights accorded to the juvenile during investigation and prosecution by providing that upon apprehension of a juvenile, the parents or guardian of the juvenile shall be informed immediately and where this is not possible, they shall be informed within a reasonable period of time.
Rule 10.2 provides that, the issue of release shall be considered be the judge or a competent body. Rule 10.3 further provides that, any contact between a juvenile offender and the law enforcement agencies shall be handled in a manner which will not disrespect the legal status of the juvenile, but promote the well-being of the juvenile and prevent any form of harm to him/her with due regard to the circumstances of the case.
The commentary to the rules stated that, the participation in the process of juvenile justice in itself can be ‘harmful’ to juveniles. Therefore, the expression ‘avoid harm’ should be interpreted broadly to mean, doing the least possible harm to the juvenile offender, as well as any additional or undue harm as this is especially important during the first contact by the juvenile with law enforcement agencies, which may strongly influence the juvenile’s perception and attitude towards the state and society.
The Beijing Rules equally envisaged the detention or putting juvenile in custody pending trial in court. Thus, it provided that the juvenile shall be kept separate from adults, that is; the juvenile shall be detained or put in a separate custody or in separate institution or in a separate part of an institution which also holds adults under detention. The juveniles while in custody, shall receive adequate or proper care, protection and all other necessary individual assistance; be it social, educational, vocational, psychological, medical, and physical care that they require in view of their age, sex and personality.

It is noteworthy that detention should be used as a means of last resort. Specifically, Rule 17(1)(c) strongly stipulates that detention is only to be imposed for offences that are deemed very serious due to the involvement of violence against the victim or persistence by the juvenile in committing other serious offences and instances where there is no other appropriate response.
More so, there is need for the existence of various measures of disposition, which will allow for a flexible process so as to avoid institutionalism of juveniles to the greatest extent. Detention is not just one more sentencing option. It has the capacity to cause harm contrary to the obligation to protect the child’s well-being at all times and also contrary to the right of other members of the community to live safety. The Beijing Rules is mindful of the fundamental objectives of the institutional treatment of juvenile offenders, provides rules that complement the expanded relevant provisions in the Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of prisoners. The Rules summarily provides:
The objective of having training facilities and proper treatment of juveniles placed in institutions is to ensure that they receive care, protection, relevant educational and vocational skills, which is in the interest of their wholesome development and will help assist them in assuming a socially constructive and productive role in society.

Female juvenile offenders held in detention facilities and other institutions are to be given special attention as to their personal needs and problems. They are to, under no circumstance, receive less care, protection, assistance, treatment and training than young male offenders. Their fair treatment shall be assured.

It is therefore not a gain saying that the Beijing Rules devotes itself to robust and Comprehensive provisions on the Rights available to Juveniles in Penitentiaries. These Provisions are relatively sufficient enough for standardized treatment of the Juveniles.

2.1.3 The United Nation Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines)
The United Nation Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency also known as the Riyadh Guidelines was adopted and proclaimed by the United Nation General Assembly resolution passed on December 14 1990. It is a comprehensive treaty which provides a positive approach towards the prevention of juvenile Delinquency and considers children to be fully-fledged participant in the society. United Nation Guidelines of this kind are not legally binding, but they can represent a moral commitment by government and provide a practical guide for the fulfillment and observance of human rights.

The Guidelines deal with almost every social area: the three main environments in the socialization process which is family, school and community, the mass media; social policy; legislation and administration of juvenile justice.

The guidelines recognize that “the successful prevention of juvenile delinquency requires efforts on the part of the entire society to ensure the harmonious development of adolescents, with respect for and promotion of their personality from early childhood.” It also points out the need for comprehensive prevention plans at every governmental level and should include among others mechanisms for the coordination of efforts between governmental and non-governmental agencies; continuous monitoring and evaluation; community involvement through a wide range of services and programmes; interdisciplinary cooperation; and youth participation in prevention policies and processes.
The chapter on the “socialization processes” provides that “emphasis should be placed on preventive policies facilitating the successful socialization and reintegration of all children and young persons, in particular through the family, the community, peer group, schools, schools vocational training and the world of work as well as through voluntary organization.”
The pro-active approach is present in the different topics the educational system should devote attention to. For instance, it was stated that the educational system should among other things ensure the teaching of basic values, development of respect for the child’s own cultural identity and patterns, for the social values of the country in which the child is living, for civilizations different from the child’s own and for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Article 23 further provides that young person and their family should be informed about their rights and responsibilities as well as the universal value system, including United Nations instruments. Article 24 recognizes the need for dealing with juveniles individually according to their various needs by providing that educational systems should extend particular care and attention to young persons who are at social risk. Specialized prevention programmes and educational materials, curricular approaches and tools should be developed and fully utilized. Article 25 provides that special attention should be given to comprehensive policies and strategies for the prevention of alcohol, drug and other substance abuse by young persons. Teachers and other professionals should be equipped and trained to prevent and deal with these problems. Information on the use and abuse of drugs, including alcohol should be made available to the student body.

“The role of mass media was also emphasized in the guidelines as it provides that ‘the mass media should strive to ensure that children and young persons have access to information and material…”.

In the same vein, Article 41 employs the media to portray the positive contribution of young person or children to society. Article 42 encourages the mass media to disseminate information on the existence of services, facilities and opportunities for young persons and children in the society. Article 43 provides that;
“the mass media generally, and the television and film media in particular, should be encouraged to minimize the level of pornography, drugs and violence portrayed and to display violence and exploitation disfavourably, as well as to avoid demeaning and degrading presentations, especially of children, women and interpersonal relations, and to promote egalitarian principles and roles.”
The obligation is placed on the media to be aware of its extensive social role and responsibility, as well as its influence, in communications relating to youthful drug and alcohol abuse among other abuse. It should use its power for drug abuse prevention by relaying consistent messages through a balanced approach. There should be promotion of an effective drug awareness campaigns or programs at all levels.

The rights of children is particularly enunciated in Article 52 and 57, it encourages the protection and promotion of these rights. Specific laws and procedures should be enacted for the promotion and protection of the rights of all young persons. Article 57 enjoined States to establish independent organs or institution or agency to ensure that the rights and interest of young persons are protected and promoted.

The guidelines prohibit corporal and degrading punishment of a juvenile. It provides that “no child or young person shall be subjected to any form of harsh or degrading corrective or punishment measures at home, in schools or in any other institution in which they find themselves in”. It provided in Article 58 that, “all law enforcement and other relevant personnel shall be trained in order to respond appropriately to the special needs of children and young persons.”
It is saddening to note that, as robust as the provisions Riyadh Guidelines are, they are not binding on the member states. They are however, meant to serve as a model from which member states can set standard rules and regulations that protect children.

2.1.4. The United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty 1990
The United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty of 1990 also known as ‘The UN Rules’ established standards or rules applicable to juveniles who are confined to or detain in any facility. The Rules are to be applied notwithstanding the circumstances that led to the confinement, whether it is penal, correctional, educational or protective, and whether it is on the grounds of conviction or suspicion of having committed an offence. However, the Rules include principles that universally define the specific circumstances under which children can be deprived of their liberty or right and that any form of deprivation of liberty of juveniles, must be a means of last resort, and for the shortest possible period of time and it is limited to exceptional cases and circumstances. It serves as an intentionally acceptable framework intended to neutralize the unfavorable effects of deprivation of liberty by ensuring that the dignity and welfare of children as well as their fundamental human rights are respected and upheld while in custody.

The Rules aimed at establishing a minimum standard for the protection of juveniles who are deprived of their liberty in all forms. Deprivation of liberty of juveniles is justified as a means of protecting young offenders. It is no longer a secret among judicial personnel that the detention of children is a good preventive measure and therefore a better solution than sending the child back to his or her family.
Rules 1 and 3 of the UN Rules emphasize the duty of the states to provide special treatment to detained and imprisoned children in view of their ‘best interest’. This is a logical rule given that the juvenile justice system “should uphold the rights and safety and promote the physical and mental well-being of juveniles” with the aim of fostering integration in society.

Rules 2, 12, 17 and 18 specially guaranteed the right to fair hearing of the children and it encourages the adoption of a child-friendly and child-oriented approach which include without delay, prompt determination of matters and the guarantee of the following rights – legal representation, presumption of innocence, silence, non-discriminatory treatment, privacy, be heard in defence and the benefit of meaningful activities and programmes that will foster the child’s sense of responsibility by developing their potential as members of the society.
The UN Rules, calls for States to establish open detention facilities with no or minimal security measures. The population is such detention facilities should be small enough to enable individualized handling of juveniles.
The Rules contain more detailed instructions with regard to the rights of the detained or imprisoned child to contact with the wider community, including family and friends and rights to enjoy the facilities and services that meet all the requirements of health and human dignity like medical care, good physical environment and accommodation, education, vocational training and work, recreation and religion.
The UN Rules emphasizes that juvenile should “be enabled to apply for free legal aid where such aid is available and to communicate regularly with their legal advisers, while privacy and confidentially shall be ensured for such communications.” However, the rules are binding on the government either because they constitute facets of rights enshrined in the Convention.
In order to be consistent with intentional standards, a child’s deprivation of liberty of must accordingly;
be lawful and not arbitrary;
be imposed as a measure of last resort, that is when no other appropriate alternative measures are at the authorities’ disposal to deal with the child concerned; and
last only for the shortest appropriate period of time
Primary prevention which covers general measures to promote social justice and equal opportunity, which thus tackle perceived root causes of offending such as poverty and other forms of marginalization;
Secondary prevention which covers measures to assist children who are identified as being more particularly at risk, such as those whose parents are themselves in special difficulty or are not caring appropriately for them;
Tertiary prevention which deals with involving schemes to avoid unnecessary contact with the formal justice system and other measures to prevent re-offending.

Indeed, the Riyadh Guidelines echo many of the rights set out in the UNCRC as basic components of primary and secondary prevention and perhaps to a lesser extent of prevention.

2.1.5The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Child Rights Charter) 1990
The Declaration on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child was adopted by the Assembly of Heads of States and Government (AHOSG) of the Organization of Africa Unity (O.A.U.) now (A.U. African Union) at its Ordinary Session in 1979. This declaration made by the AHOSG, is the first regional treaty on the rights of children and young persons.

This is consequent upon the deliberation that children should be fully prepared to live prosperous and developmental lives in the society, raised in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the UN charter and in the spirit of peace dignity, tolerance, freedom, equity and solidarity.
Thus, the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) was subsequently adopted at the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government (AHOSG) of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 11 July 1990 after deliberations and negotiations. The foundation of the charter is premised on the recognition of the specific cultural setting by calling for the cultural heritage, historical background and the values of the African civilization are put into consideration, which was expected to inspire and characterise the concept of the rights and welfare of the child. The Charter entered into force on 29 November 1999 (nine years later) after the good number of ratification had been obtained.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was perceived as being weak, because it did not sufficiently address the peculiar problems facing children living in Africa, all of which posed threats to the survival of children. This led to the adoption of the ACRWC which is in itself, a self-standing instrument to ensure the survival of children and young persons. The effective observance of the provisions of this African Charter, through different establishment of monitoring, enforcement and implementation body from the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (African Charter) which include the Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the Committee). The broad mandate of the Committee is to protect and promote the rights in the Protocol, to monitor the compliance States and to interpret the ACRWC as well as carrying out any other task entrusted to the Committee by the Assembly of the OAU, the Secretary General of the OAU or the United Nations (UN) on issues relating to children in Africa. Also that States Parties to the ACRWC are to submit initial reports to the Committee within two years of ratification or accession and every three years after ratification.
It should however be noted that, the ACRWC complements the CRC as it is believed that the ACRWC attempts ‘to add an African sensitive’, the most progressive of the treaties on the rights of the child’ and ‘the most forward thinking of all the regional systems’ on children. On this note, beyond addressing children’s rights from an African perspective, the charter also helps in the understanding of children’s rights globally because it complements the UNCRC.

At the regional level, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child that entered into force in 1999 contains in its Article 17, detailed provisions applicable to juvenile justice. Thus, it affords the juvenile offender accused of having infringed penal law the opportunity of having the right to special treatment in a manner consistent with the child’s dignity and worth. And this reinforces the respect for the child’s rights and fundamental reforms by reintegrating and rehabilitating him back to his family and the society. It is designed to suit the social and cultural values of Africa. This regional instrument, which places the child at the centre of the family and community, includes similar provisions to the CRC. Together with CRC, these rules provide a comprehensive framework of juvenile justice.
2.2.0 CONCLUSION
From the above the analysis and discussion on the Child specific legal instruments, from the international perspective, is beyond debate because this legal instruments together with their enforcement and monitoring bodies, where applicable have developed and set international standards and models for the just or proper treatment of children in conflict with the law which go a long way to guide and assist nations in establishing a well-balanced Child friendly juvenile Justice System.

This Chapter has analysed the aforementioned International Instruments that deal with the treatment of Juveniles in conflict with the Law. The next chapter will discuss the relevant legal and institutional framework for Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria.
CHAPTER THREE
LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN NIGERIA
3.0.0.INTRODUCTION
The effectiveness of any criminal justice system depends on the laws in place and the institution saddled with the task of ensuring that the provisions of the laws are given effect. Therefore, in this chapter the research focuses on the various legislations involved in the regulation of the juvenile justice system in Nigeria and the various institutions saddled with the responsibility of juvenile justice administration. Legislations considered include, the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), The Criminal Code and Penal Code, The Children and Young Persons Law, the Child Rights Act and/or the Child Right Law, Benue State.

Further in this chapter, the following juvenile justice institutions were discussed. The institutions are; the Police Force, the Court, the Prisons and Borstal Training Institutions and The Remand Home.
3.1.0. Legal Framework for the Treatment of Juvenile Offenders
The Nigerian juvenile justice system is an integral part of the Nigerian Criminal justice system. It is guided by the philosophy of concern, care and reformation for young persons and children below eighteen years of age. Juvenile justice administration in the country is undertaken within and by three core criminal justice institution-police, courts and prisons. In addition, the social welfare departments of the states and local governments also play important role in juvenile justice administration. The juveniles like adults accused of crimes have certain rights. These rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and various laws that have been enacted pursuant to the constitution. Some of these laws are the Criminal Code, Children and Young Persons law, and the Child Rights Act. These laws and Institutions that deal with the handling of Juvenile offenders will be discussed and analyzed in this chapter.

3.1.1. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended)
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), hereinafter referred to as the Constitution does not make specific provisions for the protection and handling of juveniles. However, it makes provisions for various rights to be accorded to persons in conflict with the law which also includes children, it provides that, personal liberty is a right which everyone is entitled to and no persons shall be deprived of the right to personal liberty except in the following circumstances and accordance with a procedure permitted by law. The Constitution also provides for the right to remain silent or avoid answering any question without due consultation with legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice. It further provides that, any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed in a language that he understands in writing within twenty four hours, facts and grounds for his arrest or detention.

Subsection 4 makes provision for trial without delay by providing that any person who has been arrested or detained in accordance with subsection 1 (c), shall be brought before the court within a reasonable time.

The phrase ‘reasonable time’ was defined in subsection 5 “as a period of one day in a court of competent jurisdiction within a radius of forty kilometers or a period of two days much longer period as in the circumstances may be considered to be reasonable.”
The Constitution accords further protection to an accused person. For instance, it provides that
In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including my question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.

Other rights provided by the constitution include: The Right to life, the Right to dignity of the human person. The Right to privacy and family life, the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion, the right to freedom of expression and the press. The Right of freedom of movement. The right to freedom from discrimination.

3.1.2.The Criminal Code and Penal Code
The Criminal Code and the Penal Code (applicable in Nigeria) provision on juvenile justice system are not elaborate. They merely made provisions for criminal responsibility of a juvenile. The Criminal Code which is applicable to the Southern part of Nigeria provides in Section 30 that, no person below seven years of age will be held criminally responsible for an act or omission, except there is evidence to prove that at the time of doing the act or making the omission he/she had capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission. The Penal Code Act which applies to the Northern part of Nigeria part of Nigeria provides that “no act is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age, or by a child above seven years of age but twelve years of age who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and conscience of that act”.

Thus, under the Criminal Code and the Penal Code, a child who has attained the age of 7 years but is below the age of 12 years can only be found criminally responsible for an offence, if it can be proved that he/she had the capacity to know that the act or omission should not have been carried out. For an act by a person above the age of 12 years, such a person is deemed as fully responsible for the act or omission.

3.1.3.The Children and Young Persons Act
The Children and Young Persons Act (referred to as the CYPA) was initially enacted as an ordinance in 1943, it has been subsequently amended through several legislations. Intended as national law provisions were made for their adoption as Regional laws and subsequently as state laws. The CYPA aimed at ensuring that matters having to do with children and young persons were handled only by juvenile courts. The CYPA provided that whenever any person, whether or not charged with an offence, appear before any court if not for the purpose of giving evidence and the court is of the opinion that he is a child or young person, an inquiry shall be made by the court to determine the age of that person, and for that purpose shall be required to produce his/her certificate of birth or give other direct evidence to prove his/her date of birth and in the absence of such certificate or evidence, the court shall require him or her to present a duly signed Certificate by a medical officer in government service, giving his opinion as to the age of the person.

The CYPA provides in section 6(3) for the possibility of a person who has not attained the age of seventeen years to be tried by other courts and also person or someone who had attained seventeen years of age is older to be tried by a juvenile court. This section gives the courts the discretion to determine if adjournment and or transfer of such a case would be in the interest of justice or detrimental to the juvenile or the case.

Section 3 of the Act provided for bail of juvenile offenders that is, for the release of a juvenile offender apprehended with or without warrant by a police officer. The release may simply be based on “a cognizance entered by him or by his parents or guardian with or without sureties, for such an amount as will in the opinion of the officer, secure the attendance of such person upon the hearing of the charge”. This condition for bail, does not however apply to any person.

Accused of grave crime like homicide or
To situations where “it is necessary in the interest of such person to remove him from association with any reputed criminal or prostitute” or
To situation where “the officer has reason to believe that the release of such person would defeat the ends of justice.”
Paragraph (c) above, appears to be too vague and may be abused to unnecessarily deny bail to young offenders.
Section 5 of CYPA enjoins the Inspector General of Police as far as practicable to put measures in place to ensure that, children or young persons in custody do not associate or mix with adults charged with any offence or criminal act. This provision aimed at preventing the criminal contamination or indoctrination of young offenders by hardened or recidivist adult criminals. However, such measures have advantages and merits towards the protection of young offenders from abuse and exploitation of adult criminals.

The CYPA also deals with the remand or committal to custody of young offender, and specifies the condition of custody or remand. It provides that, when a child or young person is denied bail, the court shall, instead of committing the child to be remanded in prison, shall commit him/her to custody, and it must be stated in the commitment, the exact period for which the child is to be remanded until he is delivered in due course of law. The CYPA states that, it shall not be obligatory for the courts to so commit a young person, if in the opinion of the court, he is so depraved a character or that he is so unruly a character that he cannot be safely so committed, and he is not a fit person to be so committed.
It will appear that the intent of the law is to ensure that young offenders are not detained in prisons, except in exceptional situations or circumstances. Also, the Law makes a distinction or distinguish between the child and young persons., for instance, detention of a child in prison is prohibited, while that of the young person is excusable by law under some exceptional circumstances.

Section 6 of law on the regulation of the Constitution of the juvenile court, states that;
“A juvenile court for the purpose or objective of hearing and determination of cases which relate to children or young persons’ shall be constituted by a Magistrate sitting with such other persons (if any) as the Chief Justice of the region or state shall appoint.”
Section 11, 12, 13, and 14 of the Act deal with the punishment or penalty attached to violation of law by children and young persons. Section 11(1) clearly prohibited the imprisonment of a child. But Section 11(2) provides that “no young person shall be ordered to be imprisoned if he can be suitably dealt with in any other way whether by probation, fine, corporal punishment, committal to a place of detention or to an approved institution, or otherwise.” In case of imprisonment, a young person “shall not be allowed to associate with adult prisoners or criminal in the custody of law”. However, section 11(1) of the Act forbid imprisonment of a child but permits in Section 11(2) of the Act that is, an imprisonment of young person, thus, sparingly or mere and only other forms of non-custodial punishment or correctional orders are not feasible to reform the young offender. Pronouncement or sentence of death against a juvenile who has not attained the age of seventeen years is prohibited by Section 12 of the Act as he may be committed to be detained in custody at the pleasure of the head of state or governor. Section 14 of the Act however, highlighted the various dispositions of disposal of juvenile courts, that;
“Where a child or young person charged with any offence is tried by a court, and the court is satisfied of his guilt, the court shall take into consideration the manner in which under the provisions of this or any other Ordinance the case should be dealt with, namely, whether-
By dismissal of the charge; or
By discharging the offender upon his entering into recognizance; or
By discharging the offender and placing him under the supervision or siege of a probation officer; or
By committing the offender to corrective order to an approved correctional institution; or
By sending the offender to corrective order to an approved correctional institution, or
By ordering that the offender to be flogged or whipped; or
By ordering that the offender pays a fine, damages, or costs; or
By giving order to the parent or guardian of the offender to pay a fine, damages, or costs; or
By giving order to the parent or guardian of the offender to give security or account for his good behaviour, or
By committing the young offender to custody in a place of detention under the law or approved by law;
Where the offender is a young person, by giving him an order to be imprisoned; or
By dealing with or determining the case in any other manner in which it may be legally dealt with.”
The detention facilities made reference to in many sections of the CYPA are remand homes and other approved institutions including Borstal institutions. It is provided in Section 15(1) that, native or local authorities or local government council with prior approval of competent authority may establish remand homes and may take rules for the management, upkeep and inspection of such homes. This Section further provides that:
Where no remand home is conveniently situated for a child or young person ordered to be detained in a custody, it may in the discretion of the office or the court, as the case maybe, be detained in an approved institution or in a prison provided that if such child or young person be detained in a prison he shall not be allowed or permitted to associate with adult prisoners.

Also Section 18 provides that, institutions should be established or any school or institution can be declared to be an approved institution.
From a careful analysis of the CYPA, it is found that, too much emphasis is placed on remand in custody. This most likely may be partly due to the fact that, remand in custody is an old and colonial law predating many of the contemporary international standards that encourage non-custodial sentences.

3.1.4. The Child’s Rights Act
The Child’s Right Act, enacted in 2003, was basically an attempt to compile all laws and issues concerning children, into one legal document. With regard to juvenile justice system, the Act contains definite provisions, which are aimed at safeguarding and protecting children from the harsh process of the criminal justice administration which was not addressed by the CYPA. The Act has been divided into twenty four parts and eleven schedules. The twenty four parts broadly address rights and responsibilities of children, protection and welfare of children, duties and responsibilities of government towards children, the establishment of institutions for children as well as other miscellaneous matters. The schedules to the Act, broadly provide rules and regulations, procedures and specified forms for applications and for decisions.

The Act provides for the replacement of the Juvenile Justice Administration which has existed for over a decade by a Child Justice Administration. The Child’s Right Act in section 204 provides that children shall be exempted from the criminal justice system and criminal sanctions, but if an act which could constitute a criminal offence if committed by an adult, is alleged to have been committed by a child, the child shall be subjected to the child justice system and processes set out in the Act.

By this provision, there is an abrogation of any form of punishment for any person below the age of eighteen (18) years notwithstanding how grave the offence might have been. There shall be no resort to Police investigation and adjudication in the court of law unless as last resort, in cases where the offence is of serious nature. Restriction of liberty for a child who has been prosecuted and found guilty of an offence should still be a measure of last resort. The issue of release, when a child is apprehended, shall, without delay, be considered by the court or police as the case may be.

Similarly, detention pending trial shall be a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period of time. The Act provides for the establishment a court for each of the states of the Federation and the federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to be known as the family court (referred to as “the court” in the Act) for the purposes of hearing and determining matters relating to children. Section 150 of the CRA provides that there shall be two levels in the family court:
As a division of High Court at the High Court Level; and
As a Magistrate Court at the Magistrate Court Level.

Section 151(1) empowers the court to handle any criminal proceedings involving or relating to any penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other liabilities in relation to an offence committed by a child against another child or against the interest of a child; as well as any civil proceedings in which there is existence or extent of a legal right, duty, power, liability, privilege, interests, obligations or claim in respect of a child is in issue of the case.

Children have special rights under the Act in addition to the fundamental rights applicable to every person. These rights and responsibilities of children are provided in section 3-20. The following fundamental rights namely, the right to survival and development to a name, to freedom and association and peaceful assembly, to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, to private and family life, to freedom of movement, to freedom from discrimination to dignity of the child, to leisure, recreational and cultural activities, to health and health care services, to parental care, protection and maintenance, to free compulsory and universal basic primary education as well as encouragement to complete secondary education are entrenched in the Act. The Act also makes provision for due process which is to be followed in the administration of juvenile justice in Nigeria. The Act provides in section 211(1)(a) that, when ant child is apprehended, arrested or take into custody, notice must be given to the parent or guardian of the child immediately or as soon as possible where immediate notification is possible. However, where a child is brought before a court of law, the court shall, without delay, give detailed explanation in a language they understand, to him and his parents or guardian, about the substance of the alleged offence he has committed. Moreover, if the child does not admit the facts of the alleged offence, the court shall proceed to hear the evidence of the witnesses in support or to substantiate the facts or fact in issue. The legal status and fundamental rights of the child must be respected at all times. Such fundamental rights like;
Presumption of innocence till the contrary is proved;
The right to be notified of the charge or offence he has committed;
The right to remain silent;
The right to the presence of a parent or guardian as the case may be;
The right to legal representation or representative and free legal aid (if there is need).

Whenever a child is charged with a criminal offence other than a minor offence, the appropriate officers in charge of the case shall properly investigate the background of the child, the circumstances in which the child is living or brought up and circumstances under which the offence was committed and report same to the court before the case is finally determined. The court shall consider the well-being of the child as a guiding factor in the determination of his case. The court must consider the well-being of the child which must always be in proportion not only to the circumstances and gravity of the offence committed but also to the circumstances and end result on the child and the needs of the society in diasporas.

The Child Rights Act restricts or limits punishment of child by making provision that no child shall be ordered to be;
Imprisoned or incarcerated;
Subjected to corporal punishment, or;
Subjected to the death penalty or have the death penalty recorded against him.

The Act makes provision in Section 236-237 for the rights of children in various institutions. It specifically provides in Section 236 that the main objective for the treatment of child offenders placed in institution shall be mainly to provide care protection, education and vocational skill with a view to assisting the socially constructive and productive roles in the society. Subsection 2 further provides that ‘child offenders in an institution shall be given care, protection and all necessary assistant including social, educational, vocational, psychological, medical and physical assistance that he may require having regard to his age, sex, personality and in the interest of his development’. Subsection 3 provides that ‘a female child offender placed in an institution shall be treated fairly, receive no less care, protection, assistance and training than a male child and be given special attention as to her needs and problems’. Subsection 4 provides for the right of access of parents and guardian of child offenders placed in any institution in the interest and well-being of the child. Subsection 5 further advocates for the education of all children who are deprived of their liberty: It encourages inter-Ministerial and Inter Department co-operation shall for the sole purpose of making sure there is adequate vocational training for any child offender placed in any institution or ensure that such children do not leave the institution at an educational disadvantage. The Act also provided that ‘the court shall use conditional release from an institution to the greatest possible extent and grant it at the earliest possible time’. Section 2 also provides that “a child granted conditional release from an institution shall be assisted and supervised as provided under Part XXI of this Act”.

Generally, the provisions of the CRA are elaborate and comprehensive on the rights of juveniles who are in conflict with the law unlike CYPA which is inclined towards punishment or penalty for commission of offence, the CRA deals exclusively to ensure and protect the best interest of the child.

3.1.5.The Child Rights Law of Benue State
Following the ratification of the UNCRC, the CRA was enacted as a Federal Law. It is however of a limited application. It is applicable only to the Federal Capital Territory. The implication is that, since matters relating to children falls within the residual list of the constitution, the states need to domesticate the CRA in form of a state law in order to enforce its provisions locally. Consequently, the Benue State Government passed the Child Rights Law 2008. The general principle of the Child Rights Law is anchored on the “best interest of the child”.
Fundamentally, unlike the CYPL the CRL prohibits the subjection of any child to the criminal justice process and guarantees the due process to any child subjected to the child justice system under the CRL at all stages of investigation, adjudication and disposition of the child.

Importantly, the law established family courts to hear and determine all matters relating to children. The family courts have unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine both civil and criminal matters relating to or involving children. Pursuant to the principle, that, no child shall be subjected to a criminal justice process, a child shall not be ordered to be imprisoned or subjected to corporal punishment or subjected to death penalty. These provisions, undoubtedly suggest compliance to international standard far above the provisions of CYPL.

The criminal juvenile justice process begins with arrest or apprehension of a child by the police. The law provides that the contact between the police and the child shall be managed in such a way as not only to respect the legal status of the child, but that it should be managed in a way that will promote the best interest and wellbeing of the child and avoid harm to the child.

The CRL empowers the police while dealing with a case involving a child offender to dispense the case without resorting to formal trial by using means such as settlement, including supervision, guidance, restitution and compensation of victim. Under the CRL court adjudication as well as detention shall be exploited as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible.

In all the instances highlighted above, it is evident that the CRL has a far reaching provision that sought to apply the principles contained in UNCRC, AUCRWC and Beijing Rues in Child Justice Administration in Benue State.

3.2.0INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA
3.2.1The Police Force
The Nigeria Police Force is an important institution of Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria even at the entry point. The Nigeria Police was established in 1930 by merger of the Northern Nigeria Police Force and the Southern Nigeria Police Force. It is provided for in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which recognizes the establishment and existence of the police to prevent crime, apprehend criminals and prosecute the offender irrespective of whether the offender is an adult or juvenile. However, in the realm of juvenile justice the law provides for the establishment of a special unit within the police for children offenders The reason behind the creation of special juvenile unit in the Police is to ensure that the first contact of a child is well-managed in such a way to protect and respect his/her legal status, promote the well-being of the juvenile and avoid harm to him or her with due regard to the circumstances of the case. For instance, the police are enjoined under the juvenile law to consider the detention or detaining of the child offender as a last resort, meaning that police detention should only be used in the absence of other approved children’s centres which are established for juvenile offenders.
The study contends that the significance of the law regulating juvenile justice, demands that the police are required by law or society to provide adequate care, protection and individual assistance to child offenders which include social, educational, vocational, physical, medical and psychological assistance and having regard to his/her age, sex and personality. This is because any action taken by the police officer and any other police officers involved in the handling of a juvenile case has the potential to change the child’s life in a positive direction. It is therefore contended that this will only be possible when there are special units within the Police and there are officials specially skilled in handling juveniles as contemplated by the CRA.
However, despite the enactment of the CRA, the creation of special unit within the Police has not been complied with nor has there been any sufficient training and retention in paradigm of children justice throughout Nigeria. More so the Police Force is in fact indifferent towards the laws on juvenile justice system.
3.2.2The Juvenile Court
This part of the study examines the juvenile court as one of the institutions of juvenile justice administration in Nigeria. As rightly observed in the background to the study in chapter one, the first children’s Court identified was the one established by the United States of America in 1899 in Chicago and the second juvenile Court was established in Colorado in 1903 and as from 1908, juvenile Courts were established in England, Canada and Hungary.

Special Courts for children are established for the sole reason of achieving a practical way of ensuring that children are protected during the criminal trail process. This justifies the essence of the provision of section 149 of the Child Rights Act that provides for the establishment of the ‘Family Court’ for the purpose of hearing and determining matters determine both civil and criminal cases involving children in Nigeria.
It is pertinent to note however that there is no uniform style of special children’s courts (i.e. Family Court) in most states in Nigeria. Thus, different States of the Federation have adopted two approaches to the establishment and operations of juvenile Courts. In the first style/approach separate and permanent structures or buildings with personnel which are established for the administration of juvenile justice while in the second approach, the regular court structures (that is, Magistrate or High Court) are temporarily used for the administration of juvenile justice. Therefore, in some States in Nigeria (especially Lagos State), a visible structure akin to the first approach is dedicated for the administration of juvenile justice. However, in most States of the Federation, such structures are not usually put in place or established. Thus, instead of establishing a permanent juvenile Court, Magistrate hears cases involving juveniles outside the normal or popular courtrooms or outside normal court sessions either in the courtrooms or in their chambers. This aimed to protect the privacy of the young offenders and also to protect him or her from the effects of stigmatization which may result from public trial. The offence of the publication of the identity of young offenders before a court must have been considered a serious offence to warrant a fine of fifty thousand Naira or imprisonment.
It was contended that, children’s right may not be properly protected where the same judges who sit over adult cases in regular courts are saddled with the responsibility of hearing juvenile cases. This has been pointed out by Owasanoye that there is no separation or demarcation of the Court by specialized juvenile Courts or judges. The fact remains that the provisions that allow Magistrates who sit at regular Courts to be designated as juvenile judges, jeopardizes the requirement of specially-trained personnel and also affects the judgment of the judges as there is strong likelihood that when they are appointed juvenile judges, they tend to focus more on the crime and less on the status of the offender and are unable to distinguish between the adult offenders are juvenile delinquents in a punitive legal system as in Nigeria cannot possess the right attitude and mood for humane treatment of young offenders.
Furthermore, the use of existing court structures for juvenile trial derogates from the international standards and exposes the juveniles to the formal criminal process. This diminishes the right of the child to separate legal treatment in accordance with international standards and exposes the juvenile offenders from adult criminals at all states of the process. In addition, since the Juvenile Courts are located within the regular Court premises, it defeats the objective of the CRC and international standards of preventing mingling of juvenile with adult criminals.
Therefore, it is worthy of note that juvenile courts administration, unlike the adult courts, is supposed to always aim at providing the child/juvenile parents under the doctrine of ‘parents patrae’ (the natural responsibility of parents to take care of their child). Accordingly, this study suggests that juvenile court judges should have special training in child development and must be acquainted with contemporary problems, especially as they affect children and young persons. The judge must also learn to be emotionally stable with a high sense of integrity, patience, possess a willingness to learn new ways of protecting children and young persons from delinquencies, be of a matured age of at least thirty years and must have a family.
3.2.3.The Prison and the Borstal Training Institution.
The prison system is not a new institution in Nigeria; it was firmly established and practiced by most traditional communities before the advent of colonialism. In fact the idea of prisons and imprisonment was known to the Tiv, Yoruba, Edo and the Fulani nations long before colonialism was established. Old empires such as Oyo, Benin, and Kanem – Bornu (to mention but a few) were known to have kept prisoners and since they all predate colonialism the point must be taken as established that prisons and imprisonment were in existence no matter how rudimentary they might have been. The modern prison system however, was introduced by the colonialists and the first to be established in Nigeria was the Broad Street Prison, Lagos 1872 with a capacity of 300 inmates.
The Nigerian corrective institution in the delivery of criminal justice system is fashioned after the English model. An attempt to cater for young offenders in Prison brought the establishment of Borstal in Nigeria. The Borstal system seeks to turn around the youths mostly from ages sixteen to twenty-one by instilling in them habits of industry, self-respect, and self-control through the technique of manual labour, games, physical training, mental education, the incentive of useful and interesting trade and carefully planned series of rewards.
The first known attempt at establishing Borstal in Nigeria was at a wing of the Port Harcourt Prison. This is however did not produce the expected results. It was not until 1960 that the first law on Borstal institution in Nigeria was passed.
The Act defines a Borstal as “any building or place or any part thereof declared to be a Borstal Institution under Section 3 of this Act.” Section 3 referred to, authorizes the Minister to declare any building or place a Borstal Institution where “offenders who were not less than sixteen but under twenty-one years of age on the day of conviction may be detained given such training and instructions as will conduce to their reformation and the prevention of crime.” Furthermore, the Borstal Institution and Remand Centre Act specify a maximum of three years of institutionalization in the Borstal Institution, and with a possible additional one year of aftercare supervision.
There are two functions of Borstal Institutions in Nigeria. The first is the encouragement of a personal relationship between the Borstal staff and inmates through which the inmates will be given ‘progressive’ trust-demanding personal decision, responsibility and self-control’. and secondly; the placement of emphasis on regular educational and vocational training regimen with a demanding physical training content.

The law is however silent as to what happens to convicts below the age of 16 years. Whatever be the case, there are now Borstal institutions and Remand Homes in Nigeria saddled with the responsibility of rehabilitation of juvenile offenders./ In order to realize the goal of effective reintegration of juveniles into community after release, there were provisions for vocational training in tailoring, photography, welding, building (masonry or bricklaying), electrical installations etc, as well as formal educational instruction, up to General Certificate of Education (ordinary level). However, by the 1980’s, facilities and training in the Borstal institutions had deteriorated and were virtually non-existent in the 1990’s.
Borstal Training Institutions are established with the objective of.
Avoiding criminalizing and penalizing of a young person for behaviour that does not cause serious damage to the development of the person or harm to others.
Provision of opportunities, in particular educational and vocational opportunities to meet the diverse needs of young persons, as well as provide a supporting direction for safeguarding the development of the persons, as well as provide a supporting direction for safeguarding the development of all young persons, especially those who are not able to pass through the process of formal educational institutions and those in need of special care and protection.
The programme of the centre is designed in such a way that members of the society and the families of persons on admission at the centre work hand in hand with the institution’s personnel to ensure that young persons are routed to acceptable behavioural standards and norms.
The overall interest of the young person is the main reason for any official intervention in the wellbeing of young persons. The individual takes part in deciding any programme that will help him t make positive adjustments.
The rights and the interests of the young person are given premium in the efforts to safeguard his/her well-being and development.

The awareness that labeling a young person as ‘deviant’ or delinquent often times leads the person to internalizing such behavioural pattern. This knowledge guides handlers to ensure that such an impression is not formed.
The provisions of UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and also mostly emphasized by the Beijing Rules, the institutionalization or confinement at any stage of the proceedings shall be at a last resort and for the shortest period of time. The rationale for this is the belief that confinement seldom protects the interest of the child. Custodial punishment can only be imposed if the offence is of a serious nature and a Custodial punishment can only be imposed if the offence is of a serious nature and a custodial sentence is only justified if the offence is of a violent nature or is a sexual crime and it is of the opinion of the Court that a custodial punishment is necessary to protect the public from danger and an offender refuses to serve previously imposed community sentence.
Borstal Institutions are intended to provide such training as would conduce to the children reformation and reintegration into the society. But these institutions are becoming crowded with the rising wave of juvenile delinquency in Nigeria, thereby making them grossly inadequate for the treatment of young offenders. In Nigeria, the staff of Borstal institutions is drawn from prison staff. This is seen as a serious handicap to the reformation and rehabilitative ideals of Borstal training for juveniles. This is in view of the fact that prison staff are trained to handle adult criminals. Hence, the staff is not used to the large-hearted approach required in the case of juveniles who should be handled as if they are in their own homes.

3.2.4. The Remand Home
The Remand home is established by the Borstal Institutions and Remand Centre Act. Also, Section 15 of CYPA empowers native or local authority and local government councils to establish remand homes. Remand homes are established to cater for juvenile offenders whose offences would attract imprisonment if they were adults. Remand homes are for short periods only and for serious offences committed. Remand homes shares most of the characteristics of prisons, and serve as place where juvenile facing trial in a juvenile court are sent pending the final determination of their cases.
Remand Homes in Nigeria are meant for the following:
1.The detention of juveniles on trial for the purpose of “conducting a special scrutiny of the juvenile with a view to obtaining information about the juvenile which may assist the court in disposing of the juvenile case”,
2.Custody of endangered children; and
3.Committal of juveniles for short sentences (a maximum of six months), although the Minister can extend the mandate.
In Nigeria, remand homes are also being used as approved or borstal institutions. In fact, remand homes are being used as substitutes for approved schools where the latter do not exist. The deficiency in the provision of remand homes is that it does not specifically require vocational or literacy education for the inmate. This makes remand homes appear to be more like a custodial home rather than reformative centres for juvenile offenders.
3.3.0CONCLUSION
This chapter has analyzed the legal frameworks and the custodial institutions. This study established that until 2003, Nigeria has been applying various legislations for the treatment and protection of children alleged as, or accused of, having infringed penal law. This ranges from the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Code, Penal Code and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

From the above discussion and analysis of the legal and institutional framework for juvenile justice administration in Nigeria, it is evident that, adherence to the provisions of the CRA and other international conventions discussed in the previous chapter on matters of children can serve as guidance for the three-stages of the process of juvenile administration. The three stages are first, the application of social policies to prevent and protect young persons from offending; second, the establishment of a progressive justice system for young persons in conflict with the law; and finally, the safeguarding of the fundamental rights of children and young persons’ through the establishment of measures to ensure the dignity and welfare of children and young persons’ deprived of their liberty, whether in prison or other institutions.
From the foregoing, it is contended that since the Child Rights Act seems to have incorporated all provisions dealing with juveniles in the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Act the Children and Young Persons Act, thus, the Act is comprehensive on all issues affecting the child, except for the fact that its provisions on adoption, guardianship, inheritance among others does not take into account the religious and cultural practices of the diverse Nigerian society, as it is seemingly perceived as offending the teaching and practice of Islam. There is need therefore, for harmonization of the existing legislation in the form of amendments to evolve a juvenile justice system that is humane and responsive in line with what is obtainable in most developed countries.
From the analysis of the above framework on the right of the child, it is imperative to stress that every child alleged as, or accused or having infringed penal law has the right to full due process guarantees under those provisions. The next chapter will deal with analysis and discussion on empirical data collected to determine the perception and treatment of Juveniles in conflict with the law in Benue State.
The institutions involved in juvenile justice administration such as the police, courts and prisons need to be strengthened, re-structured and reformed to meet modern trends and best practices in the administration of juvenile justice. Essentially, these institutions are to be;
Properly funded and strengthened in terms of training, professionalism and re-orientation.
Provision of logistics and facilities should be made a priority, if the institutions are to be effective and efficient in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The need for collaboration among these agencies is imperative.

A supervisory mechanism should be put in place to oversee the activities of these institutions. This would greatly facilitate their compliance status with provisions of the law and other international instruments.

CHAPTER FOUR
RESEARCH DESIGN AND PRESENTATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.0.0 INTRODUCTION
This chapter deals with research design and presentation of research findings under the following sub-headings: design of the study, study setting, sample and sampling techniques, research instrument, data Collection and data Analysis, presentation of data and findings and discussion and conclusion in relation to the subject matter of this research. This chapter presents the analysis and interpretation of data from fieldwork.

4.1.0 THE DESIGN OF THE STUDY
A research design is the set of methods and procedures used in collecting and analyzing measures of the variables specified in the research problem. The design of a study is the framework that has been created to find answers to research questions.

This research is designed to be both descriptive survey and quantitative. This descriptive and quantitative method of research has been regarded as being one of the best whenever studies intend to analyze and describe existing situations; the design used by the researcher is a descriptive survey. It is a survey of an assessment into the experience and perception of juvenile offenders and officials responsible for the administration of juvenile laws and the management of juvenile custodial institutions in Benue State. This design was helpful in the collection of data from respondents on the experience and perception of juvenile offenders and officials responsible for the administration of juvenile laws and the management of juvenile custodial institutions in the State.

4.2.0 THE STUDY SETTING
The Setting of this study is Benue State. The study is intended to analyze and describe the current status of the juvenile justice system in Benue State and the perception of the juvenile offenders and officials in charge of the custodial institutions responsible for juveniles within the state. The institutions covered include, The Makurdi Prisons, Gboko Prisons and the Remand Home in Gboko.

4.2.1SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUES
The sample population was drawn from the respondents that are located within the Makurdi Prisons and Gboko Prisons which are both under the control and supervision of the Comptroller of Prisons in Benue State, and also from the Remand Home in Gboko which is under the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. A total of 160 respondents were sampled from the three institutions sampled.

Table 4.1: custodial institutions with the Sample Population
S/No Custodial Institutions City Sample Population
1. Makurdi Prisons Makurdi60
2. Gboko Prisons Gboko60
3. Remand Home Gboko40
The selection of the sample, from which data of this study are drawn, was through purposive sampling techniques. Purposive sampling technique was adopted primarily because of the non-availability of a sampling frame for the target population. The target population was basically the juveniles in Penitentiaries and the custodial officers in the prisons and remand home.

4.2.2 RESEARCH INSTRUMENT
This research adopted the use of both research questionnaire and direct interview in the collection of data from respondents.

4.3.0 DATA COLLECTION AND DATA ANALYSIS
The questionnaires were administered personally in the Remand Home both to the staff and the inmates who I personally with the help of an assistant, interacted with the juveniles. Due to the tight security in the prisons, the questionnaires were administered personally only to the staff and officials, who helped administer the questionnaires to the inmates.
There were two separate questionnaires, one for the officials and the second for the juveniles, they both were divided into sections. The first part of the questionnaires for officials was a bio-data section, which requires the detail of respondents’ personal data. The second part of the questionnaire was related to appreciation of the problem of juvenile justice administration and child rights in Benue State by the custodial officers. The third part was about the awareness about the legal and policy framework on the rights of children in penitentiaries. While the final part, related to the status of, and implementation of the rights of children in Penitentiaries. The questionnaire contained 21 questions for the respondents.
The first part of the second questionnaires for juveniles was a bio-data section, which requires the detail of respondents’ personal data. The second part of the questionnaire related to an examination of juvenile rights during arrest. The third was the observance of juvenile rights during trial. And the final section was based on the condition of the remand home/ prisons. The questionnaire contained 25 questions for the respondents.
The questionnaires for the study were administered by the researcher in collaboration with field assistants. These field assistants helped in enlightening the respondents in their native languages, the relevance and purpose of the research. The researcher and the assistants explained the instruction to the respondents and stressed the importance of giving correct responses. The researcher and his assistance took care and time to give out the questionnaire and collected them from the respondents when they were done answering.
During the survey, the researcher and his assistants conducted some interviews with the illiterate respondents to ensure the accuracy of the questionnaire data. This was meant to ensure a high degree of response rate, it also ensured proper recording of responses in order to accurately measure the juvenile justice administration and child rights. The researcher ensured that instructions are correctly followed.

In analyzing the data collected, percentages were calculated for each of the factors and variables in the sections. Information on the underlying distributional characteristics of each of the factors contained in the questionnaire and the various categorizations of respondents in terms of their socio-demographic characteristics, status of law etc were analyzed through descriptive statistics. The study used these data in subsequent discussions.
4.3.1PRESENTATION OF DATA AND FINDINGS
A conclusion that is practical and dependable cannot be gotten in any research work except with the presentation, analysis, interpretation and discussion of the data collected from the field survey. Findings of this study are therefore presented and analyzed in this section. Of the 160 respondents selected for this study, 90 eventually responded accurately to the questionnaire items.

Bearing in mind the division of the questionnaire, the analysis was divided into two. Discussion of each analysis is also presented for better understanding. In the analysis of the general information of the respondents, the simple percentage was employed. The findings are presented below:
4.3.0 Data collection and data analysis
Table 1: Respondents Distribution
Respondents Number Percent. (%)
Inmates 44 48.9
Staff 46 51.1
Total 90 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 1 reveals 48% were inmates and 51% were staff. This result implies that most of the respondents were staff.

PERCEPTION OF CUSTODIAL OFFICERS IN PRISONS AND THE REMAND HOME IN BENUE STATE
Table 2: Sex Distribution of respondents
Sex Number Percent. (%)
Male 28 60.9
Female 18 39.1
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 2 reveals that out of the available respondents sampled, 60.9% were male and 39.1% were female.
Table 3: Age Distribution of Respondents
Age Number Percent. (%)
Below 18 Years 2 4.3
18-25 Years 6 13
26-40 Years 18 39.1
41-50 Years 20 43.5
above 50 – –
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.1: Age Distribution of Respondents

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 3 as reflected in Fig. 4.1reveals that 4.3% of the respondents were aged below 18 years, 13% were 18-25 years, 39.1% were aged 25-40 years, 43.5% of the respondents were aged 41-50 years and none of them is aged above 50 years. This result therefore implies that, most of the respondents are between the ages of 41-50 closely followed by the ages of 26-40.

Table 4: Marital Status Distribution of Respondents
Marital status Number Percent. (%)
Single 4 8.7
Married 20 86.7
Divorced 2 4.3
Widowed – –
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig4.2: Marital Status Distribution of Respondents

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 4 as reflected in Fig 4.2shows marital status distribution of respondents indicating 8.7% respondents were single, 86.7% were married, 4.3% were divorced and none was widowed. This results prove that the respondents who are the officers charge with the care of juveniles deprived of their liberty are predominantly married men and women.

Table 5: Occupation Distribution of Respondents
Occupation Number Percent. (%)
self-employed – –
Intern 2 4.3
Civil Servant 30 65.3
Others 14 30.4
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 5 reveals occupational distribution of respondents showing that none of the respondent(s) indicated self-employed, while 4.3% were inters, 65.3 were civil servants and 30.4% indicated others.

Table 6: Educational Qualification of Respondents
Educational Qualification Number Percent. (%)
SSCE 6 13
NCE/ND 9 19.6
B.SC/HND 29 63.1
Others 2 4.3
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 5 shows 13% were SSCE holders, 19.6% were NCE/ND holders, 63.1% were B.SC/HND holders while 4.3% of the respondents have some other form of qualification.

Table 7: How do you see the problem of children deprived of their liberty?
Response Number Percent
Very Serious 28 60.9
Serious 16 34.8
Don’t Know – –
Not Serious 2 4.3
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.3: : How do you see the problem of children deprived of their liberty?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 7 reflected in Fig 4.3 reveals how respondents see the problem of children deprived of their liberty the result indicate 60.9% suggests very serious, 34.8% says serious, none say they don’t know and 4.3% suggest that the problem is not serious. This result implies that the problem of children deprived of their liberty is very serious. As a combined total of 95.7% see it as a serious problem.

Table 8: What do you think is the root cause of the problem of the children deprived of their liberty?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Poor family background 7 15.2
Peer influence/pressure 28 60.9
Broken home 1 2.2
Environmental factor 6 13
Others 4 8.7
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.4: What do you think is the root cause of the problem of the children deprived of their liberty?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 8 reflected in fig. 4.4 reveals responses on the root cause of the problem of the children in Penitentiaries, this result implies that 15.2% says is poor family background, 60.9% says peer influence/pressure, 2.2% suggested broken home(s), 13% represent environmental factor and 8.7% represent others. This result implies that the root cause of the problem of the children in the home and prisons in Benue State is peer pressure/influence. Some of the respondents spoken to are of the opinion that all the factors mention jointly cause juvenile delinquency.
Table 9: What are the most vulnerable groups of children?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Below 10 – –
10-13 2 4.3
13-16 15 32.6
Above 16 29 63.1
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 9 reveals none of the respondents suggests below 10, 4.3% represent 10-13, 32.6% represent 13-16 and 63.1% represent above 16. This result implies that the most vulnerable groups of children are above16 groups.

Table 10: In what way do you think the children in the prison can be helped?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Proper counseling/correction 32 69.6
Rehabilitation 12 26.1
Others 2 4.3
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.5: In what way do you think the children in the prison can be helped?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 10 as shown in Fig. 4.5 reveals 69.6% of the responses represent proper counseling/correction, 26.1% represents rehabilitation and 4.3% represents others. This result shows that, through proper counseling/correction, the children in the Remand Home and Prisons can be helped out of their delinquent state.
Table 11: Do you agree that children have right?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 46 100
No – –
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 11 reveals 100.0% responses represent agreed that children have right while none of respondents was disagreed. This means that all respondents acknowledge the fact that all children have right.

Table 12: What do you think is the relevant laws on the handling of children in penitentiaries?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Child Rights Laws 36 78.3
CYPL 7 15.2
Others 3 6.5
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 12 reveals 78.3% believe that the Benue State Child Rights laws is the relevant law on the handling of children in penitentiaries within the state, 15.2% view the Children and Young Persons Law(CYPL) as the relevant law while 6.5% suggested others. This result shows that, most of the respondents regard the Benue State Child Rights Law as the relevant law on the handling of children in Penitentiaries within the state.

Table 13: What do you think are right of children during arrest and trial?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Right to legal aid 29 63.1
Right to be informed of their charges 8 17.4
Right to remain silent 2 4.3
Others 7 15.2
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 13 reveals 63.1% of the respondents think the children have right to legal aid during arrest and trial, 17.4% of the respondents suggested, the children have the right to be informed of their charges, 4.3% of the respondents view the right to remain silent as paramount and 15.2% suggests some other form of rights are available to the children. This result implies that most of the respondents feel the right to legal aid is the most important right for children during arrest and trial.

Table 14: What do you think is the right of children deprived of their liberty in Prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Right to medical care 4 8.7
Right to basic necessities of life 9 19.6
Right to vocational training 15 32.6
Others specify 2 4.3
all of the above 16 34.8
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.6: What do you think is the right of children deprived of their liberty in Prison?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 14 reflected in Fig. 4.6 shows what the respondents think is the right of children deprived of their liberty in the remand home. This reveals 8.7% represent right to medical care, 19.6% responses represents right to basic necessities of life, 32.6% represents right to vocational training, 4.3% represent others and 34.8% represent all of the above. This result implies that, children in penitentiaries have the right to all the rights mentioned.
Table 15: Have you received any training on child–specific laws and the rights of children?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 34 73.9
No 12 26.1
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 15 reveals have 73.9% of the respondents have received training relating to the rights of children, while 26.1% of the respondents have not been trained.

Table 16: What is the number of juveniles/children detained in one facility?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
20- 40 40 87
41- 50 2 4.3
above 50 4 8.7
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 16 shows number of juveniles/children detained in one facility. This result further reveals 87% suggests that number of juveniles/children detained in one facility ranges from 20-40, 4.3% represents 41- 50 and 8.7% above 50. This result implies that 20-40 represent number of juveniles/children detained in one facility.

Table 17: Is the facility small enough to facilitate individualized treatment, privacy and leisure?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 34 73.9
No 12 26.1
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 17 shows the facility is small enough to facilitate individualized treatment, privacy and leisure. This result reveals that 73.9% represents yes while 26.1% say no. This result implies that facility is small enough to facilitate individualized treatment, privacy and leisure.

Table 18: Do the children in the prison have access to basic necessities of life?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 30 65.2
No 16 34.8
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 18 reveal the children in the prison have access to basic necessities of life where result shows that 65.2% represent yes while 34.8% represent no.
Table 19: what do you think is the problem encountered in carrying out the appropriate laws concerning children?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
lack of awareness of the laws 26 56.5
lack of facilities and appropriate materials 14 30.4
lack of fund 6 13.1
Others – –
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.7: What do you think is the problem encountered in carrying out the appropriate laws concerning children?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 19 shown above in Fig. 4.7 reveals what the respondents think is the problem encountered in carrying out the appropriate laws concerning children. Results shows 56.5% represents lack of awareness of the laws, 30.4% represents lack of facilities and appropriate materials, 13.4% represents lack of fund and none represents others. This result concluded that lack of awareness is the major problem encountered in carrying out the appropriate laws concerning children.

Table 20: Do you agree the children have the right to regular visits by parents, guardian and friends?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Strongly agree 24 52.1
Agree 13 28.3
Disagree 9 19.6
Strongly disagree – –
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.8: Do you agree the children have the right to regular visits by parents, guardian and friends?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 20 reflected in Fig. 4.8 reveals that 52.1% strongly agree with opinion that the children are to be given the right to receive regular visits from parents guardian and friends, 28.3% agreed, 19.6% disagreed and none strongly disagree. This result implies that respondents agree that the children have the right to receive regular visits from parents guardian and friends.
Table 21: If there are practical disciplinary measures in the prison, what are they?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Starvation 1 2.2
Hard, manual labour10 21.8
Flogging 6 13
Others 29 63
Total 6 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig 4.9: If there are practical disciplinary measures in the prison, what are they?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 21 reflected in Fig. 4.9 reveals 2.2% of the respondents said starvation was used as a form of practical disciplinary measures in the prison, 21.8% said hard, manual labor was used, 13% said flogging and 63% said some other form of disciplinary measure was used. This result implies that there are other practical disciplinary measures in the prison.

Table 22: Are the children protected from any form of abuse or exploitation?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 44 95.7
No 2 4.3
Total 46 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 22 reveals 95.3% represents yes while 4.3% say no. This result implies that the children are protected from any form of abuse or exploitation.

Custodial officers in the Remand home and the Prisons
The information summarized in the tables above reveals important patterns. Firstly, majority of the respondents have reported that the problem of juvenile delinquency in the state is one of very serious nature owing to various reasons which include, peer pressure, poor family background, environmental factors. Secondly, majority of the officials consider children above the ages 16 to be the most vulnerable group to juveniles. Thirdly, majority of the officials attested to the fact that the best way to address juvenile in the state is by proper counseling and rehabilitation.

However, their knowledge of rights of children was average although majority of them acclaimed to have undergone some training on child-specific laws, that provide for the rights of children. This is in clear violation of the provisions of the Child Rights Law of the state which provides in section 199 that there shall be, professional education, in service training, refresher courses and other appropriate modes of instruction in order to establish and maintain the necessary professional competence of all persons, including judges, magistrates, officers of the specialized children police unit, supervisors and child development officers dealing with child offenders.

More so, majority of the officials considered the level of accommodation, provision of basic necessities, vocational training, education, access to medical etc, inadequate in the home. Majority, of the officials also reported that there is no written complaint or disciplinary measure or a way to ensure that the children in the home are protected from physical abuse or any form of abuse in the home.

PERCEPTION OF CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIBERTY IN PRISONS AND THE REMAND HOME IN BENUE STATE
Table 23: Sex Distribution of Respondents
Sex Number Percent. (%)
male 36 81.8
female 8 18.2
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 23 reveals 81.8% were male and 18.2% of the respondents were female. This shows that the respondents were predominantly male.
Table 24: Age Distribution of Respondents
Age Number Percent. (%)
below 18 years 32 72.7
18 years 12 27.3
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 24 reveals 72.7% were below 18 years, 27.3% were 18years. This result implies that most of the respondents were below 18 years of age.

Table 25: Parent Occupation of Respondents
Responses Number Percent. (%)
self-employed 18 40.9
Unemployed 4 9.1
civil servants 6 13.6
Others 16 36.4
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.10: Parent Occupation of Respondents

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 25 as shown in Fig. 4.10 reveals that 40.9% of the parents were self-employed, 9.1% was unemployed, 13.6% were civil servants, while 36.4% engaged in some other form of occupation.

Table 26: Position in the Family of Respondents
Responses Number Percent. (%)
1st 15 34.1
2nd 9 20.5
3rd 6 13.6
others 14 31.8
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 26 reveals 34.1% of the respondents were 1st position within the family, 20.5% were 2nd and 13.6% were 3rd, while 31.8% were other positions in the family. This result implies that most of the respondents were either 1st or some other position in the family.

Table 27: How long have you lived in this prison
Responses Number Percent. (%)
1-2years 22 50
3-5years 16 36.4
above 5years 6 13.6
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 27 reveals 50% said they have lived in this prison for 1-2 years long, 36.4% said 3-5 years and 13.6% of the respondent have lived in the remand home/Prisons above 5 years.
Table 28: Economic situation of your family
Responses Number Percent. (%)
below average 23 52.3
average 13 29.5
above average 8 18.2
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 28 reveals 52.3% represents below average, 29.5% were average and 18.2% were above average. This result implies that most respondents were from below average families.

Arrest
Table 29: How were you arrested?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
handcuffed 23 52.3
beaten and dragged 13 29.5
voluntary 5 11.4
others 3 6.8
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.11: How were you arrested?
lefttop
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 29 reflected in Fig 4.11 reveals 52.3% were handcuffed, 29.5% were beaten and dragged, 11.4% were voluntary and 6.8% were arrested by some other means. This implies that most of the respondents were handcuffed during arrest.

Table 30: What were you arrested for?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Fighting 9 20.5
stealing 10 22.6
murder 8 18.2
others specify 8 18.2
Don’t know 9 20.5
Total 44 100.0
` Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.12: What were you arrested for?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 30 reflected in Fig. 4.12 reveals 20.5% were arrested for fighting, 22.6% for stealing, 18.2% for murder 18.2% for other offences which include rape and attempted murder. 20.5% of the respondents did not know why they were arrested. This result means that most of the respondents were arrested for stealing and fighting.

Table 31: Were you informed why you were arrested?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 24 54.5
No 20 45.5
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 31 reveals 54.5% said yes, while 45.5% said no. This result implies that most of the respondents were informed of their offences during arrest.

Table 32: Are your parents/guardian aware of your arrest?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 19 43.2
No 25 56.8
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 32 reveals 43.2% says yes while 56.8% says no their parents/guardian are not aware of their arrest.

Table 33: Were you abused physically or otherwise?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
yes 18 40.9
No 26 59.1
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 33 reveals 40.9% says yes while 59.1% says no. This result implies that most of the respondents were abused physically or otherwise.

During Trial
Table 34: Have you been tried in a court of law?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 33 75
No 11 25
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 34 reveals 75% says yes while 25% says no. This means that most of respondents have you been tried in a court of law.

Table 35: If yes, do you agree that the proceeding was fair enough?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
strongly agree 4 9.1
Agree 12 27.3
Disagree 12 27.3
strongly disagree 6 13.6
Don’t know 10 22.7
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig 4.13: If yes, do you agree that the proceeding was fair enough?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 35 reveals 9.1% of the respondents strongly agreed, 27.3% agreed, 27.3% also disagreed, 13.6% strongly disagreed and 22.7% don’t know. The results show that majority of the respondents believe that the proceedings were not fair as a total of 40.9% disagreed.

Table 36: Were you able to grasp and understand the meaning of the charges against you?
Responses Number Percent
Yes 18 40.9
No 26 59.1
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 36 reveals 40.9% say yes while 59.1% say no. This result implies that most of the respondents were not able to grasp and understand the meaning of the charges against them.

Table 37: Did you have parental or professional legal assistance during the proceeding?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
yes 9 20.5
no 35 79.5
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 37 reveals 20.5% represent yes while 79.5% represent no. This result means that most juvenile offenders did not have parental or professional legal assistance during the trial proceeding.

Table 38: Were you given the opportunity to present your side of the case and evidence thereto?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 17 38.6
No 27 61.4
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
The 38 reveals 38.6% stand for yes while 61.4% chose no. This result implies that, most of the children in penitentiaries were not given the opportunity to present their side of the case and evidence thereto in court.

Table 39: What condition do you think this prison is?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
very good 9 20.5
Good 15 34.1
Bad 4 9.1
very bad 16 36.3
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.14: What condition do you think this prison is?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 39 reflected in Fig. 4.14 reveals 20.5% suggest that the condition of prison is very good, 34.1% represent good, 9.1% represent bad and 36.3% represent very bad. This implies that the condition of the remand home is averagely good as a total of 54.6 chose both good and very good.

Table 40: Do you agree that the hygiene and sanitation in this prison is up to standard?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
strongly agree 1 2.3
Agree 11 25.6
don’t know 4 9.1
Disagree 15 34.1
strongly disagree 13 29.5
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.15: Do you agree that the hygiene and sanitation in this prison is up to standard? Number

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 40 as reflected in Fig. 4.15 reveals that 2.3% strongly agreed that the hygiene and sanitation in this prison is up to standard, 25.6% agreed, 9.1% don’t know and 34.1% disagreed and 29.5% strongly disagreed. This means that respondents the hygiene and sanitation in this prison is not up to standard.

Table 41: Are you provided with the basic necessities of life in this prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
yes 15 34.1
no 29 65.9
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 41 reveals 65.9% said they are not adequately provided with the basic necessities of life in this prison/home34.1% said yes they are. This result shows that basic necessities of life in remand home are not adequately provided.

Table 42: Do you get educational and health services in prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 27 59.1
No 17 40.9
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 42 reveals 59.1% represent yes while 40.9% represent no. This means that educational and health services in prison are provided.

Table 43: Have you ever been physically abused in this prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
yes 15 34.1
no 29 65.9
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 43 reveals 34.1% represent yes while 65.9% represent no. This means that cases of physical abuse in the prisons are almost nonexistent as very few respondents have been abused.
Table 44: Have you been sexually abused in this prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
Yes 10 22.7
No 34 77.3
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 44 reveals 22.7% represent yes while 77.3% represent no. This result implies there are very few cases of sexual abuse in the prison as majority of the respondents have not been sexually abused.
Table 45: What disciplinary measures exist for wrong doers/offenders?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
flogging/beating 12 27.3
counseling/reprimanding 14 31.8
manual labour5 11.4
Others 13 29.5
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.16: What disciplinary measures exist for wrong doers/offenders?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 45 reflected in Fig. 4.16 reveals 27.3% said flogging/beating disciplinary measures exist for wrong doers/offenders, 31.8% represent counseling/reprimanding, 11.4% represent manual labor and 29.5% represent some other form of disciplinary measure exists for wrong doers/offenders in the home/prison.. This result implies that, most of the offenders are counseled/reprimanded as a form of disciplinary measures for wrong doing in the prison/home.
Table 46: Are you forced to work in this prison?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
yes 18 40.9
no 26 59.1
Total 44 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 46 reveals 40.9% represent yes while 59.1% represent no. This means that most of the respondents are not forced to work in prison/home.

Table 47: Do you agree that this detention centre has positively reformed you?
Responses Number Percent. (%)
strongly agree 21 47.7
Agree 5 11.4
don’t know – –
Disagree 5 11.4
strongly disagree 13 29.5
Total 14 100.0
Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Fig. 4.17: Do you agree that this detention positively reformed you?

Source: Researcher’s Field survey, 2018
Table 47 reflected in Fig. 4.17 reveals 47.7% strongly agreed that the prison has helped them to change, 11.4% agreed, none don’t know, 11.4 disagreed and 29.5% of the respondent strongly disagreed. This result implies that the detention centers have helped change most of the respondents.

4.3.2DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Conditions and perceptions of Juvenile Offenders
Juveniles in the Makurdi and Gboko Prisons as well as the remand home in Gboko were interviewed as well as given questionnaires with a view to obtaining information on their conditions and their perceptions of the juvenile systems in the State and how well their fundamental rights are being observed and protected. Most of the respondents were males and the few were females. The inmates of the remand home were all male. The average age of the juveniles in the home was 13-17 years, the youngest was 14 years while the oldest person was 18 years which is consistent with the statutory minimum age of 18years. 20.5% and 22.6% of the juveniles were overwhelmingly arrested and imprisoned for fighting and stealing respectively, 18.2% were committed for murder.
Results from Table 3 above reveal that the parents of juvenile offenders in the home were mostly self employment. The socio-economic background of the juveniles, depicted poverty and low literacy as most of the respondents were from economically below average families. Hence, the prevalence of delinquency among juveniles of such class, thus reflecting the social disorganization theory of juvenile delinquency in a community
Treatment of juvenile during Arrest by the Police
There is a wide consensus among police researchers, human rights activists, organizations, government officials and the general public that Nigerian policemen and women exhibit brutality and inactivity in their relationship with citizens and offenders. The responses of some of the children on their first contact with the juvenile justice system shows an abuse of right. Table 7 shows that 29.5% of the children were beaten and dragged to the station while only 52.3% of the children were handcuffed. Table 11 shows that, 40.9% of the children attested to the fact that they were psychologically and physically abused by the police and this is a violation of Section 211(1)(c)(iii) of the Child Rights Act which states that “on the apprehension of a child, contacts between the police and the child shall be managed in such a way as to avoid harm of the child, having due regard to the situation of the child and the circumstances of the case.”
Rule of law and due process
Any citizen accused or charged of crimes has certain rights. These rights are guaranteed through due process and rule of law enshrined in the nations’ constitution and statutes. Such rights include proper and prompt notification of charges, public trial (in case of juveniles, trial in process), impartial adjudication, adequate defense, examination of prosecution witnesses etc. section 203 of the State’s Child’s Right Law also provides that;
The legal status and fundamental rights of the child, set out in Part II of this Act and in particular:
The presumption of innocence
The right to be notified of charges;
The right to the presence of a parent or guardian
The right to legal representation and free legal aid, shall be respected in the adminsistration of the child justice system set out in this Act.

Despite the foregoing provision, 20.5% of the children were unaware of the reason for their arrest. This result could be seen in Table above. These results go a long way to show that the juvenile system in the state has not fully implemented the provisions of the CRA it has domesticated.

Section 204(1)(a)(i)(ii) of the Child’s Rights Law provides that upon apprehension, the parents or guardians of the child shall be immediately notified or where within the shortest time possible after the apprehension. However, the responses from the children shows that this law is not implemented as 56.8% of the children and that their parents were not notified about their arrest, while only 43.2% of the children attested to the fact that their parents were immediately notified.

From Table 12, it shows that 25% of the children in the home have not had their cases tried in court, while 75% of the children have been or are still being tried in courts. This is a clear indication of violation of the provisions of section 210(2) of the Child’s Rights Law which provides that “the court shall handle each case brought before it expediously without unnecessary delay” is not adhered to by the juvenile justice system.

Section 210(1)(a) of the Child’s Right Law provides that where a child is brought before the court, the court shall ensure that the proceedings is conducive to the best interests of the child and is conducted in an atmosphere of understanding which allows the child to participate therein and express himself freely. The law goes further to state in section 203(1)(e) that in the administration of the child justice system, the child shall have the right to legal representation and the free legal aid. Despite these provisions, 40.3% of the children attested that the proceeding in the courts where not fair. 61.4% of the children said that it was not possible for them to present evidence while 79.5% of the children did not have available to them the service of professional lawyers.

Treatment of juveniles by the custodial officials in the home
The custodial officers in remand home, and prisons are expected to adopt measures that will reform and rehabilitate the juveniles. The objectives of institutional treatment of the child was stated in section 236(1) of the Child’s Right Law to include care, protection all necessary assistance including social, educational, vocational, psychological, medical and physical assistance that a child in the home may require having regard to his age, sex, personality and in the interest of his development. However, the juvenile inmates also considered provisions for feeding, bed and sleeping arrangement, medical care, educational and vocational training in remand homes be either inadequate or very inadequate. The responses of the children on the condition of the home reveal the deplorable condition of the home and the home in such a state is incapable of achieving the objectives of the institutional treatment stated in the Act. 45.4% of the children said that the home is in a bad condition while 63.6% are of the view that the hygiene and sanitation of the home is below standard.

A field survey carried out on the remand home shows the deplorable condition of the home. The buildings are dilapidated, over grown grasses is evident, the children in the home are not well looked after or provided with the basic necessities of life; they do not have access to good and suitable clothing as most were shabbily dressed and looked wretched; access to health care facilities is not guaranteed and the staffs in the centre are not always available; the children in the home are also not properly fed. The responses of the children in Table 19, attest to the fact that they are not being provided with the basic necessities of life.

Provision of basic necessities in the Home
The provision of educational, vocational and religious for moral training for inmates are considered by officials as measures for the correction, reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. In essence, the provision of education, vocational trainning and moral/religious education along with the safe custody of the offenders are considered the primary responsibilities of juvenile correctional and penal institutions in the country. Section 236(5) of the State’s Child’s Rights Law provided that inter-Ministerial and Inter-Department co-operation shall be encouraged for the purpose of providing adequate academic or vocational training for any child offender placed in an institution or ensure that the child does not leave the institution at an educational disadvantages. But in reality, these facilities and opportunities are grossly inadequate both in quantitative and qualitative terms, within the state’s juvenile institution.

The responses of the children as reflected in Table 20 points to the fact that a large number of the children have not been provided with any form of educational or vocational training in the home. Hence, a good number of the children in the home would leave at educational disadvantage as some of them cannot read or spell properly.

Observations during the field work for this study in February, 2018 also showed that the Remand Home lacked adequate security and facilities, those that were available were obsolete and abandoned. The problem of inadequate staff makes it impossible to ensure that the children in the home receive educational and vocational training. The provision in section 236 (5) of the State’s Law is not observed in the remand home where the education of inmates is dictated more by convenience or accessibility or availability of facilities.

Majority of the children in the home reported that the institutions protected them from sexual abuse in the home.
Frequency and types of Punishment in the remand home
Section 218(1)(b) Child’s Right Law provides that the child shall not be subjected to corporal punishment. However, Table 23 shows that 27.3% and 11.4% of the respondents where either flogged/ beaten or subjected to hard/manual labour. Indeed the high frequencies of various types of punishments, indicate that the prisons and remand homes are oriented more towards punishment than correction, reformation and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders through the impartation of skills and positive attitudes.

About 40.9% of the children in the home attest that they are forced to do all sorts of tedious work in and outside the home leaving them with little or no time for rest and leisure activities.
Conclusively, the data presented in this chapter reveals that, the facilities and services in the system are grossly inadequate in quantitative and qualitative terms. These inadequacies impair the capacity of the institutions in complying with the provisions of the Child Rights law on juvenile offenders. The inadequacies, which are due to lack of awareness of the child rights law in the state, lack implementation of laws, inadequate funding etc reduced the remand home to a warehouse or human cage and a fortress of punishment instead of correctional and rehabilitation institution.

The problems associated with the juvenile justice system of Benue State are not peculiar to it alone in similar research carried out by researchers in other jurisdictions of the country reveal same Findings.

In Kwara State for instance, a research carried out showed that as a result of the level poverty, too many children lived outside the protection of the Child’s Right Act and many children in the state have their rights abused or threatened daily.

A cross sectional survey of children and adolescents at the Ibadan remand home in June 2010 through structured questionnaire revealed that out of the 59 juveniles in the remand home, 15.2 % reported physical abuse before incarceration from incarceration from caregivers, while 2(3.5%) reported sexual abuse, all who reported sexual abuse were females. 26(34%) were not attending school at the time of being brought to the home and none had gone beyond secondary school education daily (5.25%) of the children were currently attending school from the remand home even though part of them had been living there for over a year.

Hence, the problem of the juvenile justice system is not peculiar to Benue State alone, it cuts across other states in Nigeria.

CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1.0. INTRODUCTION
In this chapter, a summary of all the preceding chapters as well as the research observations and findings would be considered. Furthermore, this chapter offers recommendations and suggestions that will reposition juvenile justice system in Nigeria for optimal realisation of its goals and objectives.

5.1.2 SUMMARY
Firstly, chapter one sets the tone for the discussion of the research topic, highlighting the main purpose of this research work and pointed out the fact that juvenile justice administration in Nigeria is a product of colonial legislation and enforced by oppressive penal institutions that are of colonial origin in structure and operations. The chapter traced the history of Nigeria’s commitment to issues of rights and welfare of children to the enactment of the Children and Young Persons Act in 1943 as the first child specific law in Nigeria, and its subsequent enactments in other regions and states in Nigeria. In view of the problems and challenges undermining the attainment of main goals of juvenile justice administration occasioned by some provision of the Children and Young Persons Act vis-à-vis the inability of the colonial law to measure up to the standard set by international and continental instruments on the issue of the child, the Child Rights Act was passed in 2003, thereby requiring other states of the Federation to further domesticate same for maximum enforcement and compliance.

Secondly, chapter two focused on Child specific instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, The United Nation Standard Minimum Rules for the prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, United Nation Minimum Rules for the Administration of Justice, The United Nations Rules for The Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and the African Charter on the Rights and welfare of the Child (African Childs Right Charter). Theses treaties along with their enforcement and monitoring bodies have developed and set international standards for the treatment of children in conflict with the law which will go a long way to guide and assist Nations in establishing a well-balanced, child friendly juvenile Justice System across the globe.

Chapter three analyzed the legal frameworks and the custodial institutions. This study established that until 2003, Nigeria has been applying various legislations for the treatment and protection of children alleged as, or accused of, having infringed penal law. This ranges from the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Code, Penal Code and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

From the discussion and analysis of the legal and institutional framework for juvenile justice administration in Nigeria, it is evident that, adherence to the provisions of the CRA and other international conventions discussed chapter two on matters of children can serve as guidance for the three-stages of the process of juvenile administration. The three stages are first, the application of social policies to prevent and protect young persons from offending; second, the establishment of a progressive justice system for young persons in conflict with the law; and finally, the safeguarding of the fundamental rights of children and young persons’ through the establishment of measures to ensure the dignity and welfare of children and young persons’ deprived of their liberty, whether in prison or other institutions. Chapter three further contended that, since the Child Rights Act seems to have incorporated all provisions dealing with juveniles in the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Act the Children and Young Persons Act, Thus, the Act is comprehensive on all issues affecting the child.
The analysis of the juvenile justice law and administration in Benue state, presented in the previous chapter, show several inadequacies in the philosophy, administration and facilities for the treatment of juvenile offenders. At the philosophical level, juvenile offenders are held to be immature or deserve to be handled with compassion. But the penal practice runs counter to the philosophy as emphasis is on the institutionalisation and punishment. Thus, while officials are enjoined in the Child’s Rights Law of the state, to act in the best interests of the child, the dispositions in reality are preponderantly punitive.

Despite the domestication of the Child’s Rights Act in Benue State, the study reveals gross inadequacy in administration of the juvenile justice system. The areas of inadequacy revealed in this study include:
Punitive orientation and institutional concerns
Lack of coherent and sustained programmes of correction, reformation and rehabilitation
Gross under funding and mismanagement of resources, thereby aggravating resource inadequacies.

Inadequate protection against the violation of the rights of juvenile offenders at all levels in the juvenile justice process.

Gross inadequate provisions (in qualitative and quantative terms) of food and nutrition, bed spaces, sanitation and personal hygiene materials and health services.

Inadequate staffing in terms of quality and diversity of skills.

Spite of official statements and rhetoric, the juvenile justice institutions (courts, police and remand home) have not fulfilled the goals for which they were established in the state. For example, due to poor funding and resource mismanagement, young offenders remanded in remand home were poorly fed and treated. They were not provided with adequate facilities for sleeping, privacy, health care, educational and vocational training. Staff and inmates of the remand home, reported that important and necessary facilities and provision like food, bed spaces and materials, sanitation and personal hygiene, educational and vocational training were either grossly inadequate or non-existent. Data obtained from inmates revealed incidence of verbal and physical abuse, and denial of and violation of inmates rights by officials and some other studies on Nigerian juvenile justice system indicate the need for re-conceptualisation of philosophy of juvenile justice system and the full implementation of the laws and programmes for treatment of juvenile offenders.

5.2.0CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS
Problem associated with the Benue State juvenile system is not peculiar to it hence, serious actions need to be taken both at the legislative and institutional levels at the national and state level. The prevention of juvenile delinquency through comprehensive and multi-sectoral social, economic and cultural programmed must be given priority over repression or punishment of juvenile offenders. Four major juvenile policies have been identified by Munice. They are:
Welfare based intervention designed to help young people in trouble and to secure their rehabilitation and reintegration into mainstream society;
Justice based interventions designed to give young people the same legal rights as those afforded to adults;
Diversionary interventions designed to prevent young offending and keep young people out of court and custodial institutions;
Custodial intervention designed to punish offenders and to prevent further offending through punitive deterrence
It is not gain-said that Benue State of Nigeria enjoys robust and adequate legislation on the protection of Child Rights. This is discernible by its laudable act of domestication of Child Rights Act in the state. However, there are evidence to the effect that the Child Rights Law of Benue State has not been given necessary impetus required for its enforcement. The Juvenile Institution set up in the State falls short of the normal standard required to ultimately achieve the purpose for which the law is enacted.

In reality, the juvenile justice policy in Benue state consists of a mixture of elements of these policies. Nonetheless, the tendency towards the imprisonment of juvenile offenders is very strong. This is notwithstanding the continuous reflection of counterproductive effects of imprisonment, especially of young offenders which includes broken links with family, friends, education, work and leisure and cause stigmatisation and labelling rather than re-integrating young people into the community where they must learn to live, incarceration results in increased alienation and greater risk of further offending. Hence, it is suggested that the state prioritise juvenile delinquency prevention programme over measures designed to punish or treat juvenile offenders. Programmes designed for reform of criminal justice system that fails to address the structural roots of crime and delinquency will merely aid exclusion. The juvenile justice system not just in Benue state but in the country as a whole should be organised in such a way that it generates minimal amount of crimes rather than divert resources towards criminalization and legal repression.

The agencies that make up the Nigerian Juvenile Justice system, police, court, remand homes, approved schools, borstal and prisons, do not have adequate and qualified personnel that are able to meet the need concerns and aspirations of juvenile offenders. Respondents in the study and findings of other studies show that the Nigerian society has failed to make adequate provisions for the protection of the rights of the child, and for the development and welfare of young persons. The various areas of operational inadequacies within the juvenile justice system and suggested to tackle some includes:
Inadequate staffing in qualitative and quantitative terms. The staff of the police, courts, remand homes, approved institutions, borstal and prisons are either not trained or inadequately trained to properly handle young offenders. Staff involved in the handling of young offenders should be given necessary training in political economy, sociology, psychology; UN standards, criminology, social work and counseling to enable them acquire necessary skills and sensitivity to handle juvenile offenders.

Inadequate food and nutrition: health care, sanitation, sleeping materials, educational and vocational training. These inadequacies are due to the punitive orientation of the institutions, poor funding, mismanagement of resources and poor maintenance culture. Government should employ highly qualified people to run juvenile institutions. The institutions. The institutions should be managed by social welfare department at all levels of government. Furthermore, the programmes in the institutions should be revised and tailored to enhance the life-long development and welfare of young persons. Government should properly fund the institutions to meet the standards of the international law it has ratified in order to protect the rights of the child and young offenders. Facilities for vocational and educational training should be provided or upgraded to enable them contribute to the reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. Juvenile offenders should not be detained alongside adult offenders as widely practiced in states that have not domesticated the Child’s Right Act. States that have not domesticated the Child Rights Act should be urged and encouraged to do so.

The provisions relating to juveniles in need of care or protection should be exercised and made a separate legislation, and cases under the guise that the children are beyond parental control without full and fail process of adjudication. Penal institutions should not be used as a dumping ground or warehouse for children by parents who fail in their responsibilities to bring their children under control.

Provisions for visitations by judicial officers, justice ministry’s legal officers, and civic groups should be statutorily mandated in order to ensure that the administration of the various institutions are monitored
Civil society should also contribute to the provision of facilities and services for the development and welfare of young persons, and be active in the monitoring of conditions in juvenile justice institutions. Progressive correctional, rehabilitation and non custodial programmed for the treatment of young offenders in the country should be advocated.

The child friendly laws in Nigeria were reviewed and the research found that the system of laws on juvenile justice in Nigeria is punishment inclined, with little emphasis on rehabilitation and re-integration of juvenile offenders into the society.
The research concluded that there is need for a change of attitude in terms of the philosophy of juvenile justice administration, interventions and fundamental reforms relating to legal and legislative initiatives, institutional reforms and capacity building are imperative in order to ensure the full realization of juvenile justice administration in Nigeria.

For all machineries should be placed at various levels of the state juvenile justice system to ensure that the provisions of the Child Rights Law are fully implemented to ensure full observation and protection of the rights of children who come in contact with the law. Thus it is further recommended that
In order to protect the identity of juvenile offenders, government should provide funds for befitting family courts that will keep juveniles away from public glare. Magistrate should be made to observe and adhere to rule of law and due process by always informing and explaining the charges to juvenile offenders in an unambiguous manner. Friendliness should be a guiding principle to the personnel especially the police and Magistrates in handling juveniles.
Since it was observed in this study that, most personnel did not have adequate and specialized training, government should therefore, regularly send them on training and re-training and workshops in juvenile justice system for capacity building. This will enable them update their knowledge on juvenile matters.
The Child Rights Implementation Committee should also be setup and be financially equipped to be able to monitor personnel, institutions involved in the administration of juvenile justice.
On the findings on institutions in juvenile justice system, the study recommends that government should adequately furnish and fortify the existing institutions to make them habitable for the reformation of juvenile offenders. Juveniles should not be put in prison custody for any reason and funds should be made available to establish more Remand homes in Benue State.
Government should make efforts towards the establishment of a Borstal training School to curtail travelling long distances while transferring juvenile offenders.

Government should organize training workshops to sensitize personnel to promote a common understanding of Juvenile (Child) justice and its implications. All juvenile justice system personnel should receive rigorous training in awareness and understanding of the principles of child rights, best interests of the child, international and local legal frameworks and guidelines in observing the rights of children in conflict with the law. In addition, government should lay emphasis on specialized training for all personnel in juvenile justice system.
Furthermore, referral systems to NGOs, importance of speedy processing of juvenile cases, compliance with due process and the requirement to inform children and their families/guardians and the importance and value of child participation should be emphasized by the government.
Lastly, there should be continuous efforts on the part of the government to create public enlightenment activities on the provisions of the CRA/L on the rights of the child as well as the juvenile justice administration in the State. Government should put in place policies and programmes that will enable families to realize their roles and responsibilities to the juveniles and the society because Nigeria?s legislation on juveniles before now had evidently neglected the role of the family in the prevention of juvenile delinquency, rehabilitation and re-integration of juvenile offenders into the society.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ARTICLES IN JOURNALS
Adesua’ An Overview of the Nigerian Child’s Right Act, 2003, Kwara State as a case study: Nigerian Say Journal, Vol. 3. No, 3 (2005)
Aduba J.N., ‘From Punishment to Treatment: Humane Approach to The Sentencing of Young Offenders. In women and children Under the Nigerian Law ( Vol. 6, Federal Ministry of Justice Publication, 1989)
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Alemika E.O and Chukwuma I, Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria Philosophy and Practice (Lagos, CLEEN Foundation)
Alemika, E.E.O. (1983): The Smoke Screen, Rhetoric and Reality of Penal Incarceration in Nigeria. In International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. Vol. 7 No.1
Alen A, Lanotte J. V., Verhellen E., Ang F., Berghmans E., and Verheyde m. (eds.) Commentary on The UN Convention of The Rights of The Child: Article 3- The Best Interest of the child, University College, London, Nijhoff Publishers 2007.

Ankut P,. ‘The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: Linking Principles with Practice’ (published in 2007 by the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA), on file with the author)
Bella T.T., Atilola O., Omigbodun O.O., ‘Children Within The Juvenile Justice System In Nigeria: Psychopathology And Psychosocial Needs’. Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medcine (Vol. 8 No1 June 2010)
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Egu, M.A., ‘History of The Nigerian Prison Service: An Insider Account (Abuja: Garkida Press LTD 1990)
Ijaiya, H. (2009) Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria. In National University of Judicial Sciences (NUJS) Law Review India. Vol.2 No. 4
Llyod, A ‘Evolution of The African Charter on The Rights and welfare of The Child and The Committee of Experts: Raising The Gauntlet’ (2002) 10 International Journal on Children’s Rights
Mboho, K.S. and Udousoro, T.E. (2014): A Comparative Analysis of Juvenile Justice System in the Northern and Southern Part of Nigeria. In Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization, Vol. 29,
Onyemachi Thomas U., ‘Children, Status and the Law in Nigeria’ In African Research Review; An International Multi-Disciplinary Journal, Ethiopia Vol. 4 (3a) July, 2010
Owosanoye B and Wernharm M. (eds) Street children and Juvenile Justice in Lagos State (Human Initiative, Lagos, 2004).

Pratt, J., “Welfare and justice: incompatible philosophies”, in: Gale, F., Naffine, N. and Wundersitz, J. (eds.), Juvenile Justice: Debating the Issues (Allen ; Unwin: Sydney, 1993),
Pruin, I. (2011) The Scope of Juvenile Justice in Europe. In Dunkel, F. et al (eds) Juvenile Justice Systems in Europe. Forum Verlag Godesberg: Monchengladbach Vol. 4 Second Edition,
Stephen, J. Mill, ‘The Age of Criminal Responsibility in an Era of Violence: Has Britain set a Vandabult’
ARTICLES ON THE INTERNET
Adam, E.M. An Appraisal Of The Regime Of Juvenile Justice Under The Child’s Right Act In Nigeria https://www.arabianjbmr.com/pdfs/OM_VOL_2_(8)/2.pdf .

Araromi M. A. Prisoners’ Rights Under The Nigerian Law: Legal Pathways To Progressive Realization And Protection https://www.ajol.info/index.php/jsdlp/article/view/128021
Bamgbose O. ‘Reevaluating the juvenile/child system in Nigeria'(Paper delivered at Professor Jadesola Akande Memorial Lecture2014) available at https://nialsng.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/reevaluating-the-juvenile-child-justice-system-in-nigeria/
Global Social Service Alliance ‘Report of the Mapping and Assessment of Child Protection Systems in Benue State Nigeria’ available at www.socialserviceworkforce.org/system/files/resource/files/Report%20of%20the%20Mapping%20and%20Assessment%20of%20Child%20Protection%20Systems%20in%20Benue%20State%20Nigeria.pdf
Harvey B. Kurd ‘Juvenile Courts And What They Have Accomplished’ available at https://archive.org/stream/originofillinois00hurl/originofillinois00hurl_djvu.txtIsabella Okagbue, “Children in Conflict with the law. The Nigerian Experience” available at http://www.unicef.frg.org/K. E Mark ”Hammurabi Ancient History Encyclopedia”, Available at http://www.ancient.eu/hammurabi/
Nikhil Roy and Mabel Wong, Modern concepts of working with children in Conflict with the Law. (save the children UK, 2004) Available at https://www.crin.org/en/library/publications/juvenile-justice-modern-concepts-working-children-conflict-law Accessed on 1st December 2017
Onyemachi T ‘Children, Status and the Law in Nigeria’ https://www.ajol.info/index.php/afrrev/article/view/60201 accessed 28th August 2017Quartz Hill school of theology, ”Mosaic and Ancient Near Eastern Laws”, Available at http://www.theology.edu/egypt3.htm
Tajudeen O. I. ‘Legal Framework For The Protection Of Child Rights In Nigeria’ available at https://www.univagora.ro/jour/index.php/aijjs/article/download/2117/650 The Free Dictiobary, ”Right” available at http//:www.freedictionary.com
The Free Dictionary, Child. Available at www.freedictionary.com US Legal, ”Right”, available at https://www.uslegal.comThomas Hammarberg, “Children and Juvenile Justice: Proposal for Improvement” available at http://www.commissioner.coe.int/
UNICEF, “Children, Conflict, Human Rights”, available at http://www.irinnews.org/.

US Legal, ”Right”, available at http://www.uslegal.com
US Legal ”Penitentiary Law and Legal Definition” available at http://www.uslegal.com
William Wesley P, “Contemporary Juvenile Justice System and Juvenile Detention Alternatives”, available at http://www.stateuniversity.com
BOOKS
Ayua I. A. and Akagbue I. E. The Right of the Child in Nigeria (Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos, 1996).

Block H.A and F.T Flynn, Delinquency, The Juvenile Offender in America today (New York and Hoes, 1956)
Cipriani, D. Children’s Rights and the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility: A Global Perspective,( Ashgate, London, 2009)
Danbazau A. B. Criminology and Criminal Justice (Spectrum Books Limited, Ibadan, 2009).

Edwin Sutherland, Principles of Criminology (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1947)
Igbo, E.U.M., Introduction to Criminology. (2nd edt, University of Nigeria Press, 2007)
Milner, A., The Nigerian Penal System (Sweet & Maxwell, 2009)
Munice, Youth and Crime: A Critical Introduction. (London Sage, Publication, 1999)
Okonkwo C O (1997) Administration of juvenile justice in Nigeria-Constitutional Rights Project.

Shaw C.R. and McKay H.D., Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Arms (Chicago University Press, Chicago. 1942,)
Van Bueren, G., the International Law on The Rights of Child; ( Martins Nijhoff Publishers, 1995)
PAPER AT CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS
Bamgbose O. ‘Reevaluating the juvenile/child system in Nigeria'(Paper delivered at Professor Jadesola Akande Memorial Lecture2014) available at https://nialsng.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/reevaluating-the-juvenile-child-justice-system-in-nigeria/C.A Oputa J.S.C., ”Human Right in the Political and Legal Culture of Nigeria” (Second Justice Idigbe Educational Lecture, University of Benin, 1986)
REPORTS AND OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS
Australian Human Rights Commission, “Human Rights Brief No.2” available at http://ww.humanrights.gov/.
Federal Ministry of Health (1996). Health in Nigeria 1994/95 Health Management Information.
Global Social Service Alliance ‘Report of the Mapping and Assessment of Child Protection Systems in Benue State Nigeria’ available at www.socialserviceworkforce.org/system/files/resource/files/Report%20of%20the%20Mapping%20and%20Assessment%20of%20Child%20Protection%20Systems%20in%20Benue%20State%20Nigeria.pdfHuman Rights Monitor, ‘Administration of Juvenile Justice: the example of the Borstal Training Institute Kaduna, 1997.

National Human Rights Commission, Constitutional Rights Project, Penal Reform International and UNICEF, (2002). A Report of 3 Conferences on Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria. Available at https://cdn.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/rep-2002-nigeria-juvenile-justice-en.pdfReport of The seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders: CA/Conf.121/22/Rev.

The children’s legal centre and united nations children’s fund (UNICEF) child protection section ‘Guidance For Legislative Reform On Juvenile Justice'(2011) available at www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/Juvenile_justice_16052011_final.pdfThe Nigerian Prison Service Annual Report for 1986.
Uzodike, E.N. New Legislative Approach Towards Child Protection And Other Family Law The children’s legal centre and united nations children’s fund (UNICEF) child protection section ‘Guidance For Legislative Reform On Juvenile Justice'(2011) available at www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/Juvenile_justice_16052011_final.pdfTHESIS AND MONOGRAPHS
Abdulraheem-Mustapha M. A. An Analysis of the Framework for Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria. Unpublished (PhD Thesis, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, 2014)
Afaijagbe A. M. Legal Rights of Children In Prisons: A case study of Edo State, Unpublished ( LL.B long essay, University of Nigeria, Nsuka, 2014)
APPENDIX I
INTERVIEW/ QUESTIONNAIRE TO GATHER INFORMATION FROM CHILDREN DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIBERTY.

Dear Respondent,
I am a postgraduate student of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, carrying out a research titled; “Legal Rights of Children in Penitentiaries: A Case Study of Benue State.”
Below is a questionnaire to enable me obtain necessary information about the research. The purpose of the study is purely academic; therefore the information provided therein will be treated with strict confidentiality.

SAMBA, Adang-O-Shie John. (16/68DG020)
Postgraduate School, University of Ilorin
Ilorin, Kwara State
Instruction- Please fill in the blank spaces and thick the appropriate answers below.Section A: Bio-data
Sex: ______________Male ( )Female( )
Age:______________ Below 18( ) 18 ( ),19( ) 20 ( ) 21 ( )
Parents Occupation: ___________________Self-employed ( ), Unemployed ( ) Civil Servant ( ) Others( )
Position in the family: ________________1st ( ), 2nd ( ) 3rd ( ) Others( )
How Long have you lived in this Prison:____________1-2 years ( )3-5 years ( )Above 5 years( )
Economic Situation of your family: ______________Below average( ) Average ( ) Above Average( )
Section B: Arrest
How were you arrested?
Handcuffed ( )
Beaten and dragged ( )
Voluntary ( )
Others ( )
What were you arrested for?
Fighting ( )
Stealing ( )
Murder ( )
Others ( ) specify__________________.

Don’t know ( )
Were you informed why you were arrested?
Yes ( ) No( )
Are your parents/guardian aware of your arrest?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Were you abused physically or otherwise?
Yes ( ) No( )
Section C: During Trial
Have you been tried in a court of law? Yes ( ) No( )
If yes, do you agree that the proceeding was fair enough?
Strongly agree ( )
Agree ( )
Don’t know ( )
Disagree ( )
Strongly Disagree ( )
Were you able to grasp and understand the meaning of the charges against you?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Did you have parental or professional legal assistance during the proceedings?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Were you given the opportunity to present your side of the case and evidence thereto?
Yes ( ) No( )
Section D: Condition at the Prison
What condition do you think the Prison is?
Very good ( )
Good ( )
Bad ( )
Very Bad ( )
Do you agree that the hygiene and sanitation in this Prison is up to standard?
Strongly Agree ( )
Agree ( )
Don’t know ( )
Disagree ( )
Strongly Disagree ( )
Are you provided with the basic necessities of life in this Prison?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Do you get educational and health services in Prison?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Have you ever been physically abused in this Prison?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Have you ever been sexually abused in this Prison?
Yes ( ) No ( )
What disciplinary measures exist for wrong doers/offenders?
Flogging/beating ( )
Counselling/ Reprimanding ( )
Manual Labour
Others ( )
Are you forced to work in this prison?
Yes ( ) No ( )
Do you agree that this detention centre has helped you to change?
Strongly Agree ( )
Agree ( )
Don’t know ( )
Disagree ( )
Strongly Disagree ( )
APPENDIX II
INTERVIEW/ QUESTIONNAIRE FOR ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF OF PRISON/ REMAND HOME
Dear Respondent,
I am a postgraduate student of the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, carrying out a research titled; “Legal Rights of Children in Penitentiaries: A Case Study of Benue State.”
Below is a questionnaire to enable me obtain necessary information about the research. The purpose of the study is purely academic; therefore the information provided therein will be treated with strict confidentiality.

SAMBA, Adang-O-Shie John. (16/68DG020)
Postgraduate School, University of Ilorin
Ilorin, Kwara State
Instruction- Please thick the appropriate answer.Section A: Bio-data
Sex: Male Female
Age: Below 18 , 18-25 25-40 40-50 above 50
Marital status: Single Married Divorced Widowed
Occupation: Contract staff , Intern Civil Servant Others
Educational Qualification: SSCE NCE/ND BSC/HND Others
Section B: Appreciation of the Problem
How do you see the problem of children deprived of their liberty?
Very Serious
Serious
Don’t know
Not serious
What do you think is the root cause of the problem of the children in prisons?
Poor family background
Peer influence/pressure
Broken home
Environmental factor
Others
What are the most vulnerable groups of children?
Below 10
10-13
13-16
Above 16
In what way do you think the children in the prison can be helped?
Proper counselling/correction
Rehabilitation
Others
Section C: Awareness about the legal and policy framework on the right of children deprived of their liberty
Do you agree that Children have Rights?
Yes No
What do you think is the relevant laws on the handling and treatment of children deprived of their liberty?
(a) Child Right Law
(b) Children and Young Persons Law
(c) Don’t know
(c) Others
12. What do you think is the right of children deprived of their right during arrest and trial?
(a) Right to legal aid
(b) Right to be informed of their charges
(c) Right to remain silent
(d) Others please specify___________________________________
What do you think is the right of children deprived of their liberty in the Prison?
Right to medical care
Right to basic necessities of life
Right to vocational training
Others Please specify___________________________________
All of the above
Section D: Status of implementation of the rights of children deprived of liberty
Have you received any training related to the rights of children?
Yes No
What is the number of juveniles/children detained in this Prison?
20-40
50
Above 50
Is the facility small enough to facilitate individualised treatment, privacy and leisure?
Yes No
Do the children in this prison have access to basic necessities of life?
Yes No
What do you think is the problem encountered in carrying out the appropriate laws concerning children?
Lack of awareness of the laws
Lack of facilities and appropriate materials
Lack of fund
Others
Do you agree that the children have the right to receive regular visits from parents, guardian and friends?
Strongly agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree
If there are practical disciplinary measures in this Prison, what are they?
Starvation
Hard, manual labour
Flogging
Others
Are the children protected from any form of abuse or exploitation?
Yes No

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