Commission blames govt for Nigeria’s poor justice system

Channels Television  
Updated June 14, 2012

The chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Chidi Odinkalu has blamed the over bearing influence of government for the ‘comatose’ criminal justice system in the country.

Mr. Odinkalu made the remark at a round table on networking the criminal justice system, organized by the Nigerian Institute For Advanced Legal Studies, which is aimed at evaluating the criminal justice system in Nigeria to ensure a functional and result oriented criminal justice system in Nigeria.

Mr Odinkalu noted that the criminal justice system in Nigeria has broken down and has remained non-functional since the early 1980’s, as a result of a design flaw.

According to him the criminal justice system in Nigeria is over centralized and heavily politicized.

Mr. Odinkalu said that the criminal justice in Nigeria is near non-existence leading to many unresolved cases with the police.

He noted some of the flaws of the justice system as, over- crowded prisons with millions of pre-trial inmates, too many cases in Nigerian courts and so many other negative implications.

He blamed the over bearing  influence of government and the politicization of key security  institution  and a very obsolete criminal code  as the major problems  to an efficient criminal justice system in the country.

In trying to find a lasting solution, the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies is advocating a network of institutions in the sector for more productivity.

Participants at the event suggest that a network of key institutions in the sector is a must to redeem the criminal justice system. They also advocated the use of information technology  to create a seamless collaboration amongst the organizations especially on issues of records and data keeping which are key to a functional and virile  criminal justice system.