Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:11 pm
Mr James Enejo Ocholi , a ministerial nominee from Kogi state has called for adequate consideration for the rights of detained suspects awaiting trial.
Ocholi, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), made the call during his screening on the floor of the Senate on Thursday.
He said that the long detention of jailed suspects awaiting trial robbed them of their productive years.
“Keeping young boys and young girls in prison, in itself, creates a lot of problems. It creates a lot of overhead cost; they are kept there; they are not educated; they don’t have the time to go school.
“There is little or no school in the prison for them to go to. Major parts of their lives are wasted and the time they are coming out after 14, 15 years in prison, maybe they are not even convicted, they are made to start their lives afresh.
“I think the issue of human rights should be given adequate consideration.’’He called for the speedy dispensation of justice in the country and called on the judiciary to embrace the use of technology in court proceedings.
“How do we get speedy trial? In my view the legal system in our country is being slowed down not only because of absence of laws; the laws are plenty.
“We have enormous laws but the main issue is in this time and age apart from a few state like Lagos, majority of our courts are still analogue. The judges are taking time to write in their long hand.
“And if you go outside of this nation to other climes you have all manner of secretariat staff, registry staff that record what the proceedings are for a day without the judge having to write anything.
“Because there is a video recorder there is an audio recorder and all manner of machines writing what they are doing.’’
Ocholi said that winners of elections that had been subjected to “frivolous’’ petitions at the election tribunal could seek redress by suing the petitioners if the petition failed to sail through.
“If a man makes a criminal allegations that are false, against a person, even if it is in a simple situation but the content of the complaint is criminal and he loses, you have a right to go seek redress.
“There are various tortuous remedies available against thought of malicious prosecution, unlawful detention and defamation of character.
“You can resort to litigation and claim huge amounts of money. Medical doctors can also be held liable.
“If a medical doctor treats you negligently and you have suffered some deformation on account of that, you can take action on gross negligence.’’