The Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has charged Nigerian Judges not to allow criminals escape justice on the platter of technicalities in the matters that may be brought before them.
Justice Muhammad said thorough justice must be done to all matters by Judges so that trust and confidence can be sustained by litigants and the entire citizenry.
He spoke on Monday, at the opening ceremony of the 2021 national workshop for investigators and prosecutors, organised by the National Judicial Institute NJI in Abuja.
“It is often painful to see offenders walk away on technicalities just because due diligence was not observed during an investigation or in the course of the trial.
“To this end, your respective responsibilities have a lasting impact on the peace, security and stability of this nation, flowing from the fact that the presence or absence of undesirable elements in the society is firmly situated within your day to day activities and the powers conferred on you via different legislations.
“Therefore, failure to diligently investigate and prosecute can further endanger victims, witnesses, and other vulnerable persons.
“I have no doubt that this workshop will identify aspects that require improvement and through this, form a network aimed at promoting cooperation among stakeholders in the criminal justice sector” the CJN stated.
In another development, NigerianJudges have been charged to be proactive, bold and avoid technicalities while administering justice on matters brought before them by aggrieved citizens.
The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute NJI Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi rtd, gave the charge in his presentation at the occasion.
“My Lords, distinguished participants, I must not fail to emphasize the need for Judges in this country to be proactive, by not allowing technicalities to stand in the way of substantive justice to aggrieved people.
“The Judiciary is saddled with the responsibility of upholding the Rule of Law by interpreting and applying the relevant laws and this we will do to the best of our ability” Justice Garba stated.
In line with the theme of the workshop: “Promoting Uniformity in the Criminal Justice System”, the NJI Administrator said the training will enrich the capacity of investigators and prosecutors towards the implementation of a laudable piece of legislation: the VIolation Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, “which have given respite to criminal trials in the justice sector”.
Taking into consideration the recent spate of insecurity in the country, Justice Garba said “It is pertinent for the participants as Investigators and Prosecutors to be abreast with the legislations required to prosecute perpetrators of devious acts in our society.
The NJI Administrator said discussions bordering on the overview of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended in 2013 will be on the front burner at this year’s forum.
“Consequently, the Institute is committed to making sure that our criminal justice sector is at par with the global best; certainly, this is a task that stakeholders must close ranks to tackle, as it is in the interest of all Nigerians that this hydra-headed monster of delay in criminal trials and indeed, insecurity becomes a thing of the past” Justice Garba said.