By Onozure Dania
Lawyer and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana(SAN), has faulted media parade of suspects by the Police, saying it is illegal.
Speaking at the Civil Society Roundtable on Administration of Criminal Justice Act and the Abolition of Stay of Proceedings in Criminal Trials organised by Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, he noted that only the poor and the less-privileged are usually victims of the ‘illegal act,’ which he said is capable of subverting the justice system.
“You don’t parade the big men; you don’t parade politically-exposed persons. You only parade the poor,” he fumed.
Falana commended the recent decision of the Supreme Court which abolished stay of proceedings in criminal trials, describing stay of proceedings as a crooked and unethical means deployed by some lawyers to delay criminal trials of the powerful and the well-connected in the society.
“It is a class matter; it does not apply to the poor in magistrate and customary courts,” he said.
On his part, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs(SAN), noted that the abuse of stay of proceedings had delayed justice and led to abrupt end of many criminal trials.
He also hailed the Supreme Court decision on stay of proceedings, saying this will enhance the administration of justice and remove unnecessary hiccups.
A Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, at the event, called for the issuance of practice directions to all courts to reject stay on proceedings requests.
The programme was attended by civil society campaigners, human rights lawyers and journalists.