What is it about?

The use of tactics and technicality by litigants to delay prosecution of criminal trial has been a common phenomenon in Nigeria. To prevent this attitude and ensure trials within reasonable time the ACJA was enacted and one of its novel provision is prohibition of Stay of Proceedings. It is the authors' position that the Nigeria Supreme Court decision which upheld the constitutionality of the said provision will ensure speedy disposition of criminal cases and protect the right of litigants to fair hearing within reasonable time.

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Why is it important?

It ended the era of using delay mechanisms to frustrate trial of criminal cases especially, crime of corruption. It further reinforced the significance of the trial of cases within reasonable time enshrined in Constitution. The right of litigants to fair hearing is also protected.

Perspectives

Corruption has been a factor inhibiting socio-economic development in Nigeria. One of the very important ways to deal with Corruption in society is achieve proper punishment for those found guilty of same. However, prospecting corruption especially when it involves elites, politicians and powerful individuals hasn't been easy due delays resulting for instance, from stay Proceedings to pursue appeal on frivolous objections. Therefore, the validation of the legislations that bar stay of criminal trials by the Supreme Court is timely and applaudable. Defendant is assure of fair hearing and reduce unnecessary cost of Litigations which can go on for years due to delays and before his faith is finally decided. I hope it makes people (lawyers) have a rethink on the ideal of wanting to frustrate cases by employing all sorts of delay methods.

IBRAHIM IMAM
University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prohibition of Stay of Proceedings in Criminal Litigations under ACJA/EFCC Acts and Speedy Dispensation of Justice: Olisah Metuh V FRN (2017) 5–7 MJSC 83, African Journal of Legal Studies, May 2020, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/17087384-12340054.
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