Governor Lalong presenting a copy of the Plateau state Administration of Criminal Justice Law to member of the monitoring team.

By M. Peter – Jos

A monitoring team on the implementation of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law in Plateau State has been inaugurated.

The team is mandated to drive the process that would facilitate the speedy prosecution of cases in the courts.

Governor Simon Lalong who inaugurated the team on Tuesday in Jos expressed optimism that the step would ensure the smooth and effective dispensation of justice to the citizens of the state.

While inaugurating the team, Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham said “The establishment of the Justice Sector Reform Team in the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Plateau State will address some of the vexed problems facing the Criminal Justice Sector.”

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“These problems such as delay in the prosecution of cases, occasioned by the antics of defence counsels who often seek frivolous adjournments, stay of proceedings and interlocutory Appeals with the aim of frustrating speedy trials of criminal cases will be eliminated.”

He added, “The congestion within Correctional Service facilities often caused by the large number of detainees awaiting trial; indiscriminate arrest and detention of persons by some Law Enforcement Agencies and the absence of effective coordination among the institutions involved in Criminal Justice Administration will be drastically curtailed.”

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He charged members of the team to ensure that they make the dispensation of justice seamless so that people will not have any reason to resort to self help or loose confidence in the courts.

Chief Justice of the State, Justice Yakubu Dakwak who is the Chairman of the Team, appealed to team members to use their positions as representatives of various frontline agencies to promote the dispensation of justice to all persons in the state.

“The implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law has come up with solutions to most of the loopholes in the procedural Laws, by entrenching provisions that limit the number and frequency of adjournments that may be granted in criminal trials as well as abolishing the grant of stay of proceedings while interlocutory appeals are being pursued.”

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Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Chrysantus Ahmadu disclosed that because of the work that has already started under the administration of criminal justice law, Plateau State has more convicts than awaiting trial inmates at its Correctional Centres as some interventions have started.

In their goodwill messages, the State Commissioner of Police, Comptroller, Correctional Services, NBA Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid Council and other stakeholders reiterated their willingness to work for the success of the initiative.