Some lawyers have decried the slow pace of court proceedings, in spite the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
The lawyers in separate interviews on Tuesday with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan, spoke against the backdrop of continuous delay in completing criminal matters.
Seun Abimbola, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, said that human failure was largely responsible for the slow pace in the determination of cases in various courts in the country.
Mr Abimbola pointed out that it might be easy to legislate a reform and institutionalise it, but human beings, who were assigned to implement it, are always the stumbling blocks to the actual performance.
“If the law prescribes a fast track in the system and the stakeholders are not sufficiently empowered, then, that is a failure.
“The bench, bar, police and correctional centres all combine to ensure the smooth working and quick disposal of cases.
“To the best of my knowledge, the Criminal Justice Act has substantially dealt with the issue of correctional centres producing accused persons in court, however, there are still problems during investigations.
“Sometimes, case files are not sent to relevant personnel in time.
“Also, there is the sudden transfer of the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, and there is no way the ACJA can take care of such human errors,” Mr Abimbola said.
The former attorney-general added that it might take more than legislation to change the human mindset, who are running the institution.
Similarly, the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Ibadan Branch, Johnson Akintayo, said that for there to be a solution to the continuous delay of proceedings, the stakeholders must tackle the abnormality holistically.
“For instance, if a counsel handling a matter is sick, or if there are too many cases before a judge or magistrate, there is nothing anyone can do about it,” Mr Akintayo said.
Also, James Ajibola, counsel to the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Oyo State Council, said that judges and magistrates are overwhelmed by handling too many cases at the same time.
According to him, the ACJA recommends day-to-day trial in criminal cases, but it would be impossible for a judge who has about 200 cases to embark on day-to-day proceedings.
Mr Ajibola, however, called on the government to increase the manpower in the judiciary in order to minimise the challenge.
He also called for the digitalisation of the judicial processes, to quicken the dispensation of court processes.