Nigerian lawyers insist on criminal justice reforms
from the article by John Chuks Azu on allAfrica.com:
Professor Kelvin Nwosu a former Director Academics of the Nigerian Law School had argued that the country's legal system which places much emphasis on retributive rather than restorative justice "has given rise to lack of remorse on the part of offenders who now demand proof of their culpability during trial rather than show remorse."
Nwosu, who was speaking in Abuja during the launch of the book: "Current Issues on Sentencing, Custodial Reforms and The Criminal Administration in Nigeria", written in honour of Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, wondered why the sentencing and custodial option should be adopted and thereafter public funds are spent again to decongest the prisons.
While speaking with Daily Trust recently, Nwosu further advocated the use of Restorative Justice options such as plea bargaining, bail process and victim-offender mediation. He argued that this takes cognisance of the underlying issues involved in an offence which ranges from sociological, psychological and economical. He further stated that it seeks to adopt the alternative measures stated earlier in dealing with the offender.
He added that the Nigerian legal system proffers stiff penalties which are in reality unenforceable which makes a mockery of the whole system. "In fact some cases they even try as criminal should actually have come under neighbourhood and family cases if properly assessed and isolated," he said....
Read the whole article.