Cleen Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has lauded the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), saying it speeds up the dispensation of criminal court cases, as well as decongests prisons.
Mr Benson Olugbuo, Executive Director of the foundation, said this in a statement on Monday, saying speedy dispensation and prison decongestion were observed by the Enugu State Administration of Criminal Justice Act working group.
Olugbuo said that the group consisted of members of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other related offences Commission in the state.
“The observation from the Enugu State working group on criminal justice consisting of the EFCC, ICPC and others, says ACJA is helping in quick dispensation of court cases and decongesting prisons.
“The working group has made great commitment in working with stakeholders for effective implementation of the ACJA-2015 and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law ACJL-2017 in the state,” he said.
He said that the group was set to engage the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the state police command, ICPC, EFCC, and other major stakeholders for effective implementation of the acts.
Olugbuo said that part of the stakeholder’s engagement would focus on the compliance of both the Criminal Justice Act for the Federation and the Criminal Justice Law for the state.
He said that the group sought to identify challenges associated with both legislation and to find ways of addressing them.
The statement quoted Mr Innocent Mbachie, a representative of EFCC in the state working group as saying that anti-graft agency, was using plea bargain provided in ACJL and ACJA to speed up trials and decongest prisons.
Also, Mr Amedu Sule, ICPC South East Zonal Head, said both the ACJA and ACJL were fundamental because they had provisions for speedy trial of criminal cases and enhancement of judicial process in Nigeria.
Ms Miriam Menkiti, WINET Executive Director, pointed out that the state working group sought to achieve accountability and transparency in the judicial system through the implementation of ACJA-2015 and ACJL-2017.
She, however, identified challenges impeding the ACJA and ACJL implementation to include lack of vehicles to convey suspects to courts, bribery and corruption within the prison system, the police and judiciary.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Enugu state working group is made up of the ICPC, EFCC, other Independent Corrupt Practices Agencies, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).
Others are National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), and other related criminal offence organisations and relevant stakeholders.
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