The seminar was organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation on Wednesday, 28th April 2022. The focus was on the key innovations of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State 2021 while the key discussants were Hon. Justice Rahman Oshodi of the High Court of Lagos State; Dr. Babajide Martins, the Director of Public Prosecution, Lagos State Ministry of Justice; Rotimi Oladokun, of the Nigerian Correctional Service and Yetunde Cardoso of the Nigeria Police Force.
Highlights of the Interactive Seminar
Secondly, the oversight provision in Section 283 which provides that chief magistrates shall visit police stations every month. Regarding this, His Lordship recommended that Section 18 of the law which provides remedy for a person detained in custody can be combined with Section 283 to help suspects on their fundamental human rights applications.
Thirdly, Section 252(3) talks about the role of a Judge when handling the procedure applicable to information of offenders. However, he identified the challenges that can arise such as, if defendant is not produced in court; if information is not served; if there is non-appearance of defendant that is on bail; if there is no legal representation; and if there is congestion of docket. Thus His Lordship proffered solutions to these challenges which can also be found in the ACJL such as, by complying with all the provisions enumerated in Section 252. Where there is non-appearance of the defendant’s counsel, the defendant should approach the Legal Aid Council - Section 233. When an Interpreter is required, Lagos State Judiciary has Interpreters unit - Section 195
Other issues addressed are: When there is non-preparedness of the defence, when there is non-appearance of a prosecutor, when the defendant is absent, can there be trial in absentia? Can victims of crime be compensated? What is the effect of not guilty plea and when can a court dismiss a case? Read Section 212, Section 235, Section 372 and Section 232 of the ACJL for guidelines. Also see Oduneye v. FRN and FRN v. Ononye Justice Rahman Oshodi further emphasized that Lawyers should note the following: Steps to be followed from arraignment to conviction; Remote proceedings; the powers of the AG under Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution; compensation to crime victims; sentencing hearings; registration of offenders and consequential orders and; Section 9(3) of the ACJL on video recording although it is the Evidence Act that governs admissibility of evidence. See the cases of Sunday Okodo v. State and Michael v. State. In addition, there shall be recourse to Section 262 where no rules exist.
© 2022 Headfort Foundation. All Rights Reserved | Design by Hipheckts' Inc.