By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Chief Judge of Katsina state, Hon Justice M.D Abubakar has assured that Kaduna state is determined to address issues that are critical and that can pose challenges in the administration of criminal justice in the state.
Justice Abubakar droped the hint on Monday at the commencement of the two-day Administration of criminalJustice retreat for Katsina state judges and stakeholders holding in Abuja.
The Justice who gave a historical evolution of Administration of Criminal Justice System(ACJS) said as at the time Katsina state was created in 1987, recalled how the pioneer Chief Judge , Hon Justice Umaru Adbullahi initiated the institutional framework which was then lacking.
According to him, as at then there was no institutional framework but through his initiatives, we since then started reforms in the criminal Justice sector through the setting up of the administration of criminal justice committee at the state level and various divisions and since it was not backed by law, the impact, was not very significant, he said.
“With time the criminal cases increased geometrically because in year 2000, you have 5,000 cases 2001it will increase to 10,000 and the rate of disposal of cases was equally hampered with so many impediments such as: trialwithin trial, transfer of officers, logistics problems of courts, absence of witnesses, transfer of witnesses and so on”.
So they came up with some laws which went through some rigorous processes and eventually passed. As soon as the laws were passed, the ACJS monitoring committee was constituted and inaugurated by the government and we quickly went into action . All the stakeholders were brought under one umbrella and if there is any problem, we solve it there and then.
Also, the Hon Justice Umaru Abdullahi has charged Judges to give Nigerians their due rights and ensure that citizens are protected. Justice Umaru who exoressed worry about what is happening in the judiciary these days asked: what was happening? Are Nigerians benefitting anything from the Judicial system?
He lamented that the protection of citizens in effect is the duty of the state. He bemoaned the situation where alleged offenders are kept in detention longer than necessary without trial and said that by so doing many people are hurt.
However, it was suggested that judges should be given the latitude to exercise his discretion.
It was emphasized that the fact that Judges are not involved in plea bargaining is a good development .
The judges were asked to ensure the speedy trial of cases, adding that once one is elevated to the position of Judges, he is no to be guided or supervised.