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‘It’s painful when offenders escape over technicalities’ — CJN tasks judges on due diligence

Bolanle Olabimtan

Ibrahim Muhammad, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), has charged judges to ensure due diligence in cases brought before them in order not to allow offenders escape justice due to technicalities.

The CJN said this on Monday, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2021 national workshop for investigators and prosecutors, organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja.

“It is often painful to see offenders walk away on technicalities just because due diligence was not observed during investigations or in the course of the trial,” he said.

“To this end, your respective responsibilities have a lasting impact on the peace, security and stability of this nation, flowing from the fact that the presence or absence of undesirable elements in the society is firmly situated within your day-to-day activities and the powers conferred on you via different legislations.


“Therefore, failure to diligently investigate and prosecute can further endanger victims, witnesses, and other vulnerable persons.

“I have no doubt that this workshop will identify aspects that require improvement and through this, form a network aimed at promoting cooperation among stakeholders in the criminal justice sector.”

In his remarks, Salisu Garba, newly appointed administrator of the NJI, urged judges to be proactive, bold and avoid technicalities in the course of performing their duties.


“My lords, distinguished participants, I must not fail to emphasise the need for judges in this country to be proactive, by not allowing technicalities to stand in the way of substantive justice to aggrieved people,” he said.

“The judiciary is saddled with the responsibility of upholding the rule of law by interpreting and applying the relevant laws, and this we will do to the best of our ability.”

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