The administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Salihu Abdullahi (rtd) has called on investigators and prosecutors in the country to ensure optimal performance and productivity in the discharge of their duties.
Justice Abdullahi said by so doing, the country’s criminal justice system will be greatly positioned for the best.
The NJI Administrator gave the charge, on Monday, at the opening ceremony of a national workshop for investigators and prosecutors, organized by the Institute.
He said the workshop was borne out of the desire of the Education Committee of the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute in 2018, to enhance the capacity and capability of investigators and prosecutors.
“The workshop over the years, has thus, served as a forum to sharpen the prosecutorial and investigative skills of participants in view of the daily challenges encountered in the discharge of your duties.
“Therefore, the workshop is designed among several other things, to acquaint participants with burgeoning developments in the criminal justice system,” Justice Abdullahi said.
He reiterated the desire of the Institute to ensure that Nigeria’s criminal justice sector is at par with other common law jurisdictions in line with global best practices.
“This remains a task that all stakeholders must close ranks to achieve, bearing in mind that it is the desire of Nigerians that delay in criminal trials is curbed, Justice Abdullahi said.
”It is our expectation that this forum will enrich the capacity of Investigators and Prosecutors towards the implementation of a recent laudable piece of legislation, such as the Violent Against Persons Prohibition Act 2055, and many others that have given respite to criminal trials in the justice sector.
The NJI boss expressed hope that the workshop will provide investigators and prosecutors with relevant skills necessary for optimum performance and productivity.
He expressed confidence that the workshop will definitely serve as an avenue for participants to discuss prospects and challenges encountered in the implementation of recent legislation on criminal justice.
“It cannot be overemphasized that criminal trials in Nigeria had been a source of worry to every stakeholder in the justice sector before the advent of ACJA, 2015, as the need to get criminal matters quickly dispensed with, as well as the application of an alternate means of sentencing aimed at preserving human dignity, has now been cured with specific provisions in the (ACJA 2015) Act.
“This brings me to the theme of this year’s workshop, “Towards Efficient Criminal Trials”, this is apposite, as it is tailored towards addressing the myriad of challenges impeding the prosecution and investigation of crimes and thereby promoting transparency and integrity in the administration of criminal justice.
“No doubt, the Judiciary, which is the arm saddled with the responsibility of upholding the Rule of Law by interpreting, construing and applying the relevant laws, will always ensure that we carry out our constitutional mandate to the best of our ability,” Justice Abdullahi said.