Lack of Collaboration Among Security Agencies, Lawyers, Judges Hindering Speedy Justice Delivery, Says FIDA

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has identified the absence of collaboration among the critical stakeholders in the justice sector as a major obstacle in the realization of speedy dispensation of justice in the country.

FIDA Nigeria Country Vice-President and National President, Mrs Amina Agbaje, made the observation at a one-day workshop on ‘Strengthening Collaboration Amongst Criminal Justice Actors for Sustainable Implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in Nigeria’.

Agbaje, while recalling that the ACJA and its counterpart in the states of the federation, the ACJL, were enacted to remedy delays in the criminal justice system, protect the rights of defendants and victims, and ensure the timely dispensation of justice, lamented that the implementation of these laws has faced numerous challenges since their enactment.

According to the Country vice-president, “There continues to be a disconnect between the aspirations of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and ACJLs and the reality of Nigeria’s criminal justice system. While these legislative frameworks aim to improve efficiency and fairness, significant obstacles continue to impede their effectiveness.

“One major hurdle is the lack of seamless collaboration and communication between the various actors within the system. This siloed approach creates roadblocks in implementing the ACJA and ACJLs effectively. Other persisting issues that has continually plagued the system include lengthy and prolonged trials, corruption, inadequate resources and insufficient training for law enforcement and judicial staff.

“These challenges act as a chokehold, hindering the swift and just resolution of cases.”

She stated that based on the aforementioned, it became imperative to provide a platform for shared learnings, harness successes, challenges and recommendations garnered through the project to all stakeholders and beneficiaries involved.

Agbaje disclosed that the workshop was aimed at enhancing the collaboration among criminal justice actors, in order to fortify the criminal justice system in Nigeria.

“This intervention supported by MacArthur Foundation has focused on creating synergies among key stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, legal practitioners, court support officials and civil society organizations to ensure the seamless implementation of the ACJA and ACJLS. 

“The Intervention has also aimed to address systemic challenges such as corruption, delays in justice delivery and human rights abuses within the criminal justice system,” she added.

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