Phone: +234-7067899368

Speech: The 3rd National Working Group Meeting On The Administration Of Criminal Justice, Act 2015

Speech: The 3rd National Working Group Meeting On The Administration Of Criminal Justice, Act 2015

I would begin by first
expressing my sincere pleasure, on behalf of CLEEN Foundation to welcome you
all to this distinguished “August” gathering.

At the outset, I would
like to appreciate my colleagues for their concerted efforts in ensuring the
success of this meeting and for managing to assemble an impressive blend of
Stakeholders, Policymakers, Researchers, Civil Society Organizations and
Experts in the field of justice. Undeniably, we all share a common interest for
effective justice delivery and do possess an important stake in the
implementation of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015. For
most concerned citizens, this meeting presents a good opportunity to join
forces with those who have demonstrated a passion for effective Justice
delivery in Nigeria for most of their careers. For others, it is the
opportunity to learn more about the administration of the criminal Justice
system in Nigeria.  In every case, it is important for all of us to gather
together in such a friendly atmosphere to discuss the critical problems we are
faced with in the implementation of the Administration of criminal Justice Act
in Nigeria and to offer possible solutions. I am convinced that the
intellectual exchanges and experience sharing between participants in the
course of the meeting will not only beam the spot light on progresses made in
the implementation of the Act but the need to breach gaps identified.

The meeting is
convened under a project centered on “Promoting Accountability and Transparency
in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria”. The project is
targeted at the digitization of court proceedings/judgments in Nigeria with a
view to promoting accountability and transparency in the fight against
corruption. The project principally seeks to monitor cases of corruption in
relation to ACJA 2015 through a web based platform- Uwazi doc which is
functional, accessible and within the reach of the public.

I would like to take
this opportunity to sincerely thank MacArthur Foundation for funding this

The Administration of
Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015 was enacted as an instrument, which merged
the provisions of the two previous principal legislations, namely: Criminal
Procedure Act (CPA) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). The Act was not
designed to do away with the already existing criminal laws in its entirety,
but was designed to preserve and strengthen the existing legal framework by
introducing innovative provisions that will give a face lift to the efficiency
of the justice system. The new federal legislation has brought fundamental
changes to the criminal justice system, as it provides in section 1 of the
ACJA, for an administration of criminal justice system which promotes fast
tracking of justice delivery, efficient management of criminal justice
institutions, protection of citizens as well as protection of the rights and
interest of suspects, defendants and victims.

It goes without saying
that in the long chain of implementers or criminal justice actors, Lawyers make
up an important and indispensable part of the complicated business of the
administration of criminal justice as almost everyone in the process were first
and foremost lawyers, whether they be Judges, Magistrates or prosecutors. The
defence counsel is also an integral part of the core. The point in this is
that, if we must have an efficient criminal justice system as the ACJA and
ACJLs attempt to entrench within our polity, the critical mass of men/women on
the chain all along the line- from top to bottom must be men who are manifestly
willing to birth the dream of the innovative ACJA and ACJLs. It is gratifying
to note that 19 States have passed their own ACJLs, some of which are
impressively innovative.

The objective of the
Act may never be attained unless and until all relevant stakeholders in the
criminal justice system are aligned to work collaboratively to ensure that the
Act is not just implemented but fully complied with by all judicial actors

I wish us all very
fruitful and result oriented deliberations.

Thank you for the time
and God bless you all.

Benson Olugbuo. PhD

Executive Director

CLEEN Foundation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.