The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, says any judge who stays proceeding on any criminal matter before his court would be dealt with.
According to him, the National Judicial Council, NJC, would henceforth, come down heavily on any such trial judge.
With this, suspects with cases of corruption before the courts will no longer have the privilege of using a stay of proceedings suit to delay their trials.
This is because the a newly enacted Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, has been adopted to forestall situations where accused persons use frivolous interlocutory applications to frustrate their trial.
The CJN while flagging-off the 2016 Refresher Course for judicial officers on current trends in law and administration of justice, therefore directed Judges handing corruption cases to hear such matters on a day-to-day basis, explaining, that the measure became necessary in view of mounting criticisms against the Judiciary.
According to him, the essence of the newly enacted Act, was to forestall situations where accused persons use frivolous interlocutory applications to frustrate their trial.
“The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the system of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interests of the suspect, the defendant and the victim”, the CJN said.
He continued, “This unprecedented provision puts a stop to the delays occasioned by interlocutory applications to stay proceedings pending appeal on preliminary matters when the substantive issues are yet to be tried on the merits.
“Upon arraignment, the trial of the defendant shall proceed from day-to-day until the conclusion of the trial, while each party is entitled to only five adjournments not exceeding two weeks each. Where the trial is still not concluded, the interval for adjournments will be reduced to seven days each”.
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