THE CHIEF Judge, Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja, Ishaq Bello has described administration of justice as an image making process. Justice Bello said this while delivering a paper over the weekend on ‘Revisiting the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015: Views from the Bench’ at a round table forum organized by National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS. He noted that modern administration of justice is improving, hence the systematic integration of state components in the passage of
the Criminal Justice Bill. “I am happy some States of the Federation are adopting the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 but with some modifications,” he said. Justice Bello who is also the Chairman of Implementation Committee of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, stated that the existence of lay police prosecutors, can no longer find a place in modern administration of justice. “Just as we don’t have lay magistrates presiding over court proceedings, lay police prosecutors cannot be accommodated while there are several qualified lawyers”. He argued that the central purpose of police arrest and prosecution is to expedite the process of Justice Administration. Adding that it is also intended to check overcrowding of prisons. On the challenges of speedy disposal of cases by the courts, Bello said it is usually orchestrated by lack of good database, advocacy and sometimes, indolence. Commenting on the issue of jurisdiction, he implored that any application that is intended to halt proceedings on substantive arguments that gives room for the parties to ventilate their grievances, should be deferred, pending the exhaustion of substantive arguments.
This, he said, will speed up the nation’s justice system. The Law reform Committee was constituted by the Speaker of the House Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in July 2016 with the mandate to take a holistic look at the laws of the Federation with a view to determine outdated laws in the statue books for the purposes of deletion, repeal or amendment by the National Assembly. Earlier, the Director General of NILS, Ladi Hamalai informed that the ACJA has been reviewed by the Law Reform Committee, noting that there is need for critical stakeholders to make salient inputs on some of the issues being canvassed.


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