Criminal justice system at risk in Nigeria—Appeal Court Judge


Presiding Justice of the Ilorin division of the Court of Appeal, Justice M. A. Owoade has raised the alarm that the gains recorded by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 may soon be lost.

Owoade who expressed the concern in Lagos about the criminal justice system in the country explained that the failure to replicate the ACJA across the states, poor stakeholders’ attitude and dearth of funds are already sounding death knell for the beautiful project.

The occasion was the Professor Adedokun Adebayo Adeyemi Foundation  (PAAAF) Annual Lecture Series which held last Friday at the University of Lagos.

While delivering keynote address at the occasion, Justice Owoade noted that there are several challenges impeding implementation of the ACJA.

Though he endorsed the encomium being poured on the ACJA as well deserved, he warned that lack of replication of the ACJA across the states, poor stakeholders’ attitude and dearth of funds may impede achievement of the objects of the Act.

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His words: “The ACJA has been described by various commentators in different complimentary ways. Undoubtedly, it is a great improvement on previous legislations on procedural laws and the administration of the criminal justice system.

“It is imperative for overall effectiveness and efficacy of the criminal justice system for the ACJA to be replicated in the States of the Federation.

“The State Governments must therefore be encouraged to replicate the ACJA in their various States.

“One possible challenge or impediment to the implementation of the ACJA is funding and the other is the need for change of attitude by the various stakeholders.”

Speaking earlier, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court of Nigeria noted the phenomenal achievements of the Late Emeritus Professor Adeyemi, adding that he was a profound scholar who taught him criminal law in the early 70s at the University of Lagos.

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He applauded the deceased scholar’s widow and Chairperson of the foundation, Pastor (Mrs.) Abimbola Adeyemi and her children for keeping his legacy alive through the foundation and the lecture series, urging all stakeholders to work towards an effective criminal justice system.