Speech by NIALS DG, Prof Tawfiq Ladan, at the Opening Ceremony of the Training Workshop for South-South Prosecutors, Judicial Officers

Speech by the Director General Of NIALS at the Opening Ceremony of the Training Workshop for Prosecutors and Judicial Officers from the South- South Region of Nigeria Organised By Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Nials) tith the Support of Mac- Arthur Foundation at Orchid Hotel , Asaba, Delta State On The 17th February 2020


PROTOCOlL

It is with great pleasure and privilege that I welcome all stakeholders to this Training Workshop on Administration of criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 organised for judicial officers by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) with the support of Mac-Arthur Foundation. It would be stating the obvious to say that this workshop has come at a most auspicious moment.

The Administration of criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 is a major revolution in our criminal justice system. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the system of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interest of the suspect, the defendant, and the victim. The provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 are in tandem with the goals of National Policy on Justice in operation in Nigeria.

The policy is designed to produce synergy and cooperation across the justice sector nationally and at both federal and state levels, promote independence and impartiality of the judiciary, strengthening the capacity of the justice sector and encourage holistic use of information communication technology and ensures fair and speedy dispensation of justice and effective enforcement of court decisions.

Others are, promotion of human rights and access to justice for all, especially the poor, weak and vulnerable, promote correctional and restorative justice and alternative dispute resolution as well as enhancing national security and facilitating social-economic growth. It is to this end that major provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Code have been enshrined in the Act and the various lacunae in both laws have been adequately provided for in the ACJA.

We must pay more than a cursory attention to the Innovative provisions of the Act such as; 1. Arrest under Part 2 2. Electronic recording of confessional statement under part 2 3. Women sureties under part 19 4. Plea bargaining under part 28 5. Remand time limit under part 30 6. Prosecution of offences under part 31 7. Compensation to victims of crime under part 32 8. Parole under Part 45 and 9. Trial of Corporations part 47.

I have no doubt that if all stakeholders avert their minds to observance and full implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, the Act has huge potentials of developing the Nigerian Criminal justice system to meet global standards and in so doing promote accountability and efficiency whilst reducing the level of needless delays in the Nigerian criminal justice sector. This noble initiative, to gather judicial officers in an effort to enlighten, explore germane issues and throw more light on grey areas affecting the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015, will, I believe, add values, strengthen and reposition the country.

It is also hoped that all stakeholders in the administration of the justice sector will play their respective roles and responsibilities as envisaged by this revolutionary piece of legislation to achieve the desired goal of repositioning the justice sector for overall good of our society. May I therefore enjoin you all to pay keen attention to the various lectures we have put in place and be selfless in your contributions as your inputs are integral and germane to the evolution of a more robust criminal justice delivery in our dear country.

Finally I wish that at the end of this workshop, we would have all enriched our knowledge of the Criminal justice laws in our various States.

Thank you.

Professor Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan. PhD, Humphrey Fellow, USA Director General Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

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