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Why ACJA may fail, by appeal court judge 

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Justice Bisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court (left); Justice M. A. Owoade of the Court of Appeal; Pastor (Mrs.) Abimbola Adeyemi, Chairperson of PAAAF; Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court and Justice Taofiquat Oyekan Abdullahi also of the Lagos State High Court at the annual lecture.

Presiding justice of the Ilorin division of the Court of Appeal, Justice M. A. Owoade has warned that unless challenges confronting the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 are not resolved, realizing its goals may remain a mirage.

Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Professor Adedokun Adebayo Adeyemi Foundation  (PAAAF) Annual Lecture Series held last Friday at the University of Lagos, 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.

His words: “The ACJA has been described by various commentators in different complementary 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 stake holders.”

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. 

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. 


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