Pres­i­dency should pro­vide ev­i­dence – OCJ Okocha

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye, John Chuks Azu & Cle­ment A. Oloyede

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.

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