Experts brainstorm on speedy trials
By Sunmola Olowookere
Legal experts have harped on the need to embrace transparency and accountability in Nigeria judicial system in order to fastrack justice dispensation emerged at a state level working group meeting held in Akure on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law implementation in Ondo state.
The programme was co-sponsored by Center for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN) and MacArthur Foundation.
Delivering his address, the Executive Director of CLEEN, Benson Olugbo stated that the initiative was to reduce delays in any form in delivery of Criminal Justice.
Represented by the Assistant Legal Officer, Mrs Esther Mabadeje, he said that the initiative aimed at checking increasing cases of corruption among public and judicial officers.
He stated that Nigeria pass good laws but lack the political will to see to its implementation and enforcement.
Olugbo hinted that the meeting was to find means of making information on corruption cases available to the public through a website and to create awareness on the project so that the public will be aware of its existence.
He disclosed that the project has been on for two years whereby the National Working Committee group meets yearly to discuss issues and share information about ACJL.
He stated that it has started replicating the programme in states of the federation.
He said that the objective of the meeting was to discuss updates on the implementation of the ACJL, consider challenges and gaps and proffer probable solutions in line with the law.
He further hinted that analysis will be drawn from the court observation data sent in by their data collectors in a bid to watch the trends emerging so that they would serve as advocacy issues to stakeholders in the sector.
The project also aimed at digitalising court proceedings in Nigeria with a view to promoting transparency and accountability in the fight against corruption by the Nigeria judicial system.
It would be recalled that the ACJL which was prepared as an improvement on criminal procedure act of 1914 became a law in Ondo state in 2015.
The participants deliberated on challenges facing the full implementation of the law in the state, chief of which was lack of awareness among police officers who are major actors in prosecutions.
Participants at the programme were drawn from NBA, FIDA and Civil Society Organizations.
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