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Oladejo Lamikanra, SAN,  Sketches Policy Framework For President Tinubu On  Effective Justice System





Given what many have described as broken criminal justice system in Nigeria,  Oladejo Lamikanra, a leading Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, has offered useful insights on effective justice system to President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who assumed office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2023.
Our reporters caught up with the legal eagle on the steps of Court of Appeal, Abuja.

Coming at a critical stage in the socio-economic and political fortunes of the most populous black country on earth, Oladejo Lamikanra is persuaded to offer suggestions to the Tinubu led administration in the interest of national growth, prosperity and confidence building.
He posits that the criminal justice system is, perhaps, the most important tool for the promotion of law and order in any functional society. He views effective justice system as a veritable tool for social engineering and rejuvenation.

To Lamikanra, an effective criminal justice system is one of the key pillars upon which the concept of the rule of law is built adding that it serves as a functional mechanism to redress grievances and bring violators of social norms to justice.
The SAN stressed that unless and until the courts system are equipped for efficient justice delivery and judges motivated and encouraged to perform at optimal level of output, the pursuit of encouraging business environment for investors would be difficult to achieve.
“Just last week, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu actively participated in a ‘Global Financing Pact,’ summit in France hosted by President Emmanuel Macron. He met and encouraged Nigerians and other investors to look at the direction of Nigeria under his watch for investment and enterprise. That is a good step. And that also informs the reasons I am persuaded to offer these sketches policy framework for effective justice system in a manner that would encourage citizens’ confidence and investors’ interests. Nigeria stands to harvest bountifully from those negotiations once our justice system is further strengthened,” Lamikanra stated.

He added that the current operational modes of correctional institutions should be reviewed to correct and reintegrate back into society and not to criminalise and incubate criminals.

The criminal Bar practitioners in Nigeria, according to Lamikanra, needs to conduct some reorientations as to how they could assist our courts to do better rather than being clogs in the wheel of speedy dispensation of justice.

“Our Police and law enforcement personnel could actually be collective force for good – if well motivated, educated and re-oriented to invest more in the Nigerian State  and in our core values as a nation,” Lamikanra advised.

Significantly, the learned silk emphasises the roles of families and right parenting.
According to him, a cohesive nations invariably starts with a cohesive and functional family units across all cultures and tribe, pointing out that it is the Latinate tool for crime prevention and control.

With this conviction, the legal expert is of the view that for the Tinubu led federal government to succeed, the former Lagos State governor must re work  the  criminal justice system policy document which would reflect Nigeria’s unique social and diverse cultural orientations as well as define the institutional objective of the system in coherent and practical terms.
He noted that the administration should consider a framework for effective relationship between the components of the criminal justice system.
Notably, Lamikanra identifies near absence of case management strategy, overloaded and congested dockets, frivolous and useless actions that serve no purpose than to Easter the time of court and wear out judges, congest prisons, delay litigation and deteriorate standards of legal education in Nigeria.

He noted that a combination of these fundamental flaws and defects manifest at every processing point on the entire criminal justice system line  that do not serve the current needs of the country.
In addition, Lamikanra explained that indiscriminate transfer of Police prosecutors could be  partly responsible for incomplete investigations and delays to on going trials because of consequential and frequent adjournments.

He particularly pointed out what he describes as crippling,  outdated and counterproductive style of policing, Correctional Services that has basically become warehouses for inhumane treatment of fellow human beings who could be reformed and reoriented to be useful to themselves and the society

Lamikanra advised Tinubu  to ensure that necessary policies and legislation that facilitate fair trial are initiated and properly put in place. He emphasized that to restore investors and international community’s confidence, Tinubu needs to completely erase delays and other numerous defects in the country’s Criminal Justice system.

The Senior Advocate further pointed out that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was signed into law in 2015 by former president Goodluck Jonathan to, among other things, reform the administration of criminal justice in federal courts across the country, needs to be strengthened through effective implementation and clause adjustments where necessary, adding that  how well a country manages its criminal justice system affects its overall performance on the governance index.
“A country that gets its criminal justice system right has effectively addressed a quarter of its governance concerns because of the centrality of the criminal justice system to law, order and stability,” Lamikanra said .
He called for increased funding of the police and other prosecuting agencies and urged Tinubu to encourage compensatory and reconciliatory procedures in the criminal process adding that it would reduce the trial load in the court system and promote speed and efficiency.

Speaking on court, Lamikanra emphasized that  the court system is the second most important component in a triangulated relationship of the criminal justice system involving laws, courts and enforcement agencies.
“It therefore becomes compelling to deploy adequate funding to courts,” he said.
Only recently, Oladejo Lamikanra, the  experienced and highly respected SAN of the prestigious law firm-Creeks & Shield, Solicitors- led the argument that made a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to deliver a landmark judgment confirming the authority of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to collect the one percent Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) levy from every contract awarded in the Nigerian oil and gas upstream transaction as mandated under section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
Before then, Lamikanra led the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP counsel in the Abdullahi Liman’s  judgment which settled all the contending issues concerning the PDP arising from the dissolution of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led national working committee and  validating the convention that produced the caretaker committee , among other legal land marks.



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