By EDITH NWAPI
ABUJA- The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola called for the participation of more judges in conference on Best Practices in the Administration of Criminal Justice.
Ariwoola made the call at the opening of an inaugural regional conference on Criminal Justice Administration organised by the Juritrust Centre for Socio-Legal Research and Documentation.
The CJN represented by Justice Centos Nweze, Supreme Court Judge, said the participation would ensure a robust discussion by Nigerian judges.
“I hope that next time you will invite Nigerian justices to listen to practitioners and professors of law who teach,” he said.The CJN commended the organisers of the conference.
The convener, Deji Adekunle, SAN, said the purpose of the conference is to create an avenue for interaction with criminal justice stakeholders from sub-Saharan Africa.
He said participants are drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Malawi with comparative criminal justice systems and taken on board best practice on management of pre-trial detention, effective implementation of non-custodial measures and speedy trials.
He said Juritrust Centre for Socio-Legal Research and Documentation is a legal Resource and facilitator of bespoke legal education and advocacy programmes.
Adekunle said the conference was organised in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria initiative on the Criminal Justice system,.
Also speaking, Dr Kole Shettima, Director, MacArthur Foundation said the conference was a product of long consultation on how the criminal justice administration could be improved.
“This conference will be a beginning of a collaborative effort between people in the field coming together, working together to ensure this subject matter is realised ” he said.
Similarly, the Controller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa represented by Emmanuel Nwakeze, said the service has rolled out measures to ensure inmates are safe and produced for trials.
The signing into law of the NCS Act 2019, he said, has provided the leverage to improve our service delivery especially as it relates to custodial and non-custodial functions” he said.
Speaking also, Justice Nicholas Abodakpi representing Justice Kwasi Anin- Yeboah, the Chief Judge of Ghana called for collaborative effort among stakeholders to accelerate justice delivery.
Similarly, Justice Eva Luswata Kawuma of Ugandan court of Appeal said there are many factors affecting administration of criminal justice.
The most important, she said, is funding because many actors are involved in the sector.
She added that most offenders are indigent and can not afford to pay for legal representation. (NAN)