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Don advocates citizens’ participation in ACJA implementation

High Court

A professor of law, Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), has called on citizens to take the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) as the people’s law to ensure its effective implementation.

Akinseye-George, who is also the president of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS), made this call last week during the centre’s three-day training workshop on ACJA 2015 and Anti-graft Laws/Procedure in Abuja.

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He said the workshop was to build the capacity of Nigerians – lawyers and non-lawyers – to understand the ACJA and to be able to use the laws, adding that this is because there are many roles for citizens in ensuring effective implementation of the Act.

“We have noticed from our surveys that many citizens are not even aware that they have a role to play. They imagine that government has to do everything. They imagine that lawyers alone are the ones for whom the law was made. The law is meant for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

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“What we are doing is to explain the law to the public through the participants so that they will understand what the law is all about and what roles they have to play in supporting reform and the crusade for transparency, accountability and responsibility in our country,” he said.

On the roles expected of the citizens in the effective implementation of ACJA, Prof. Akinseye-George said there are many provisions in ACJA that citizens have to trigger, adding that support for the law enforcement agencies from the citizens is one key area.

Providing information and serving as witnesses in courts are some other roles that citizens can play, he added.

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