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AG canvasses proper funding for investigators

Lagos Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Adeniji Kazeem‎

In order to enhance criminal justice administration in the country, the Lagos State Commissioner for Justice Mr. Adeniji Kazeem has advocated proper funding for investigators.

Speaking at the National Training of Investigators organized by Federal Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the Center for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) in Lagos, he noted that investigators are usually the best and brightest of any organization.

According to him, without sound investigators, the success of the criminal justice administration may not be guaranteed, adding that where investigation and prosecution is handled perfectly, public trust is enhanced.

In his welcome address, CSLS president, Prof Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) said: “Many of our investigators often work under harsh conditions, without basic working tools and enjoy little motivation.”

According to him, there is a need for greater focus on the work of investigators which would necessitate establishment of minimum standards and guidelines; monitoring and evaluation of performance; accountability for non-performance or low productivity; provision of incentives; regular training opportunities and reward for exceptional performances.

His words: “Those investigating High Profile Corruption Cases for example should be protected, well resourced, and insulated from the corrupting influence of the money bags and high profiled defendants who have all the resources to influence the outcome of investigations.”

Speaking further, he added that in a recent report published by the National Judicial Council (NJC), the problem of delays of criminal justice administration was partly placed at the doorstep of investigators and prosecutors. It is elementary that we cannot have a good prosecution without proper investigation, he emphasized.

He regretted that that there is excessive reliance on confessional statements by investigators and prosecutors to win conviction.

This practice, he stressed, causes delay in trial due to trial-within-trial, which may run into years.

“It is pertinent for the improvement in our criminal justice system to adopt new investigative trends, which leverage on modern technology and forensics,” he advised.

In his speech, the representative of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Felix Ota-Okogie, who is the Secretary, Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee (FJSRCC) noted that necessary gaps should be bridged in order to make investigation and prosecution effective.

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