From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Labaran Magaji has reaffirmed the commitment of his ministry to ensure the full enforcement of all domesticated Acts, including gender-based laws, child rights laws, and anti-kidnapping laws in the state.
Magaji stated this on Tuesday in Lafia when members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nasarawa State Council, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He said that Governor Abdullahi Sule was committed to protecting the rights of its citizenry, hence had given the go-ahead to activate the enforcement of the laws in order to protect the vulnerable groups in the state, especially women and girls.
The Attorney General assured that his ministry would ensure speedy trials of criminal cases to decongest the correctional facilities in the state.
Speaking on why justice dispensation is delayed in the Nigeria’s criminal justice system, he said :” The delay in dispensing of criminal justice is from the side of defense lawyers and how did they do it, like I said, the accused person has the same right and freedom of movement.
“So guided by this constitutional right, you will see defense Counsels almost every day bring a motion for bail or they would bring a motion to quash the charge or they will say the judge is biased then they would transfer the case to another judge, then come up with another motion to delay the dispense of the case.
“In fact, I was prosecuting the case of Nnamdi Kanu and the defence lawyer asked the judge to disqualify me as a prosecutor from prosecuting the case, his reason was that I’m a member of the Department of State Security Service DSS.
“We had to take adjournment and I wrote counter affidavits attached my ID to prove to them that I’m a prosecutor and I could not move.
“So, we are saying most times, so much time spent in this kind of frivolous application.
“The challenge is often coming from the defense lawyers. Sometimes your case is not in the court dairy, some days the judge might have up to 30 cases for that day, tomorrow he might have up to 15, the next day, he might have up 20, respectively.
“And if your case has been adjourned it will be fix again after three months and before you know, the court would go on vacation before you know again you might spend almost the whole year on just an application,” he added.
The commissioner, therefore, called on the citizens to constantly uphold the law in order to avoid being subjected to legal proceedings, adding that the state government would not throw in the towel and permit people to flout the law and get away with it.
He also pledged to work in partnership with the state correspondent chapel going forward in order to advance the ministry and the state as a whole.
Earlier, the state Correspondents’ chapel chairman, Mr. Isaac Ukpoju, said the purpose of the visit was to congratulate the commissioner on his appointment.
He urged the commissioner to bring his experience to bear in ensuring quick dispensation of justice in the state.
He reassured the commissioner that the media was poised to effectively report the activities of the ministry and the entire state for the benefit of the people of the state .