Media organisations in Nigeria have been asked to put more pressure on the judiciary in the area of judgement delivery to ensure that cases are handled within a short period of time.
A lawyer, Kenneth Odidika, on Tuesday, said that delay in trail of cases had contributed to the resentment that Nigerians feel about security agencies and their inability to secure the punishment of law offenders.
On several occasions, cases taken to court by security agencies take up to one year before judgement is passed. In some cases, the media lose interest in covering the case and Nigerians will be left in the dark as to what happened to the criminal, a development that had led to increasing impunity.
This, Mr Odidika attributed to the slow nature of handling proceedings by the court judges, stressing the need for the media to demand that the judiciary show more commitment to their duty by dispensing judgement on cases as fast as possible.
On Monday, the Department of State Security paraded some persons suspected to have carried out the April 14 bomb blast in Nyanya Motor Park, Abuja, a development Mr Odidika commended.
He stressed the need for such cases to be handled as fast as possible to ensure justice.
“If these security agencies could put their lives on the line for the country, by going all out to arrest these men, then the judiciary should equally make some more commitment to handle cases fast. Nothing stops them from putting extra time into handling cases.
“Judiciary needs to be dealt with by the media to ensure that they do their work. Trials stretch on and on until the media lose interest in covering it.
“It is the responsibility of the media, which is very powerful, to put the judiciary to work. The security men are putting their lives on the line and the judiciary should also do more to prosecute these criminals in good time,” Mr Odidika.
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He also pointed out that the ‘Terrorism Act’ was enough to prosecute the terrorists.
Commenting on the abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok, Borno State, the lawyer said that there were indications that the abduction may have been pre-arranged.
He said that the principal of the school had given various story versions of what happened the night the abductors came.
“I do not think that there was a criminal abduction. There is a sought of cooperation between the parents, principal, students and the government.
“I think the children were removed based on a formal arrangement to evacuate them somewhere, not that they were abducted by Boko Haram.
“The principle had given us different versions of how they were removed. The state governor had promised to provide security during the exam but he never did.
“The principal first told a story about the Boko Haram members disguising like soldiers and demanding that the girls be moved to another place. This is what I think. I may be proved wrong but that is my opinion.
“The story of the girls shown in the video released by Boko Haram does not fit into the pattern of Boko Haram.
“From my observation, the girls in the video are looking so well fed and it does not portray a story of girls abducted by terrorists,” he said.
Mr Odidika, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to support the military by providing them with adequate information, needed to be able to apprehend criminals within the society.
“With the arrest made, it is now obvious that work is going on to end the insurgency. The media should make sure that the information they put out will portray support for our military,” he said, emphasising the need to make sure that media reports do not endanger the lives or military men or make their plans futile.