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Cleen Foundation calls for digitalizing the judicial system …lament lack of implementation of ACJA in Nigeria

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A non-governmental organization Cleen Foundation has called on the federal government to provide judicial infrastructure within the court system to ease the administration and appropriate implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in Nigeria.

 

 

The group made the call recently at the media presentation of the policy brief on the status of stakeholders’ compliance with the administration of Criminal Justice Act in Lagos.

 

 

Speaking at the event, Salaudeen Hashim, Program Director, Cleen Foundation said: “Digitalizing the judicial system would make it easier for AJCA to be implemented. It will reduce the adjudication process, and also help judges in terms of the functionality of how they also work around.”

 

 

 

“If the government provides digital infrastructure, it also helps to reduce the burden on the judges, knowing fully well that there are limited numbers of them, and the enormous number of cases that are within their disposal, and then it creates a lot of burden.”

 

 

Explaining further, Salaudeen said: “Digitalization will help to create a dashboard to see cases that have stayed for too long. It will also allow the judiciary to comply with the provisions of the ACJA.

 

 

 

So we must help these judges to function very effectively, and adjudicate the process to run without any form of hiccup. What we have now is a bureaucracy of a traditional system that is not allowing them to function in the manner they should.”

 

 

Reiterating the importance of a functional judicial system, the Executive Director, Cleen Foundation, Gad Peter said: “It is important that the court is able to provide justice for all because if it does not people will take the laws into their hands and we are going to have anarchy. So we need to ensure that we are protecting the judiciary from unnecessary political influence, from unnecessary attack, while encouraging them to do their work by providing justice for everybody that appears before them.”

 

 

“The implementation of ACJA will reduce the issue of human rights violation, the impunity that comes with arrest or brutality that comes with interrogation. It will ensure that women can access the law, women can bail. Indigent persons when arrested can get access to any pro bono lawyer or legal aid counsel.”

 

 

 

 

“A fair way forward is to be functional in our implementation of ACJA, put monies in terms of budgetary provisions, create oversight that will help things to happen, allow the ACJMC’s, the Arbitration Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, to be functional. And where they are not in existence, they should create them. So we need to make sure that these monitoring committees are set up and they are working and reporting adequately and timely.”

 

 

“Most often in this country, it is not the absence of good laws, it is implementation. And so what we are doing today is to ensure that we are constantly reminding ourselves of the existence of these laws, and the fact that if we are able to implement it fully, we are going to have a safer country, and a country for everyone even when they go to prison,” he added.

 

 

 

 The highlight of the event which offered a valuable opportunity for media stakeholders to engage in robust reportage was the interactive session focused on strategies to improve the implementation of AJCA.

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