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Reps consider deadlines for courts on criminal, civil cases

Access Bank

A bill seeking to set timeframes for various categories of courts in Nigeria within which they must dispense justice in criminal and civil cases before them has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

According to the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Onofiok Luke, who sponsored the bill, when the proposal becomes law, it “will entirely change the face of justice in Nigeria for the good of all.”

Leading debate on the bill, Luke said in part, “It is more pleasing that this proposal is made in this particular legislative house which is known to be pro-people. The pace of justice delivery in Nigeria is alarmingly slow.

“In average, cases stay a minimum of five to 15 years before determination and judgment. The snail-like pace of justice delivery has caused great discomfort, inconveniences and hopelessness to litigants, investors and businesses.”

The lawmaker also noted that there were so many suspects in criminal cases who “are wasting away,” leading to the congestion of correctional centres and case lists in our court rooms.”

The Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, noted that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act only prescribed that criminal matters must be heard on a daily basis and there should not be the chequered history of adjournments.


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