Presidency should provide evidence – OCJ Okocha
The immediate past Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, OCJ, Okocha (SAN) has said the president must be specific on the particulars of lawyers who are frustrating reforms introduced by the ACJA.
He said while he did not know the basis upon which the President’s statement was made, it would have been preferable if particulars of such lawyers were given. He said when the particulars of such lawyers were given, people could now make informed decisions.
“It is not every lawyer that is involved in criminal trial, and we have over one hundred thousand lawyers in this country. So is it the lawyers that are prosecuting or those defending in criminal trials that are frustrating the reforms introduced by the ACJA?”
Another senior Lawyer, Abeny Mohammed (SAN) agreed that lawyers were using frivolous applications to frustrate cases but he added that the courts could ignore them. According to him, we can only shift the blames to those lawyers, who are using it to frustrate the cases.
“However, under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, not every application can be heard in the interim. The court can refuse to hear the application and proceed with the case and tell the counsel that the application can be heard later.
“It is a matter of the court exercising their discretion judicially and judiciously. The lawyers should be blamed more than the courts,” he said.