Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, disclosed on Monday that 25 high profile corruption cases being monitored by his Centre for Socio-Legal Studies CSLS, have been stuck for years without making progress at various courts in the country.
The poor implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and lack of the cooperation of lawyers towards ensuring speedy trial and effective criminal justice delivery system are the reasons for the problem according Akinseye-George.
The Senior Advocate, who along with others championed the enactment of ACJA in 2015, spoke in Abuja at the opening session of a two-day ‘capacity-building workshop for lawyers’.
The theme of the event was, ‘Trends in criminal justice administration and the anti-corruption fight’.
Akinseye-George, who is also the President of the CSLS, expressed concern that “several years after the coming into effect of the Act, the criminal justice system continues to experience delays and congestions”.
According to Akinseye-George, “Our centre is monitoring about 25 high profile corruption cases in court. These have been stuck in the courts for years despite the provisions of the ACJA for speedy trial.
“In other words, the improvement in the criminal procedure law and the increasing number of lawyers and senior advocates on a yearly basis have not translated to a greater effectiveness of the criminal justice system, greater access to justice by the poor or improved justice delivery system in the country.
“Although more courts are being established and the legal profession is growing by the day, there is not much to write home about justice delivery in the country.”
He equally disclosed that 31 states of the federation had adopted and the Act with the five remaining in the process of doing so, noted that the provisions of the law “cannot be properly implemented without the cooperation of the legal profession”.