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FCT chief judge: I feel ashamed when I see some lawmakers sleeping at plenary



Ishaq Bello, chief judge of federal capital territory (FCT) high court, has tackled members of the national assembly who “contribute nothing” but sleep at plenary sessions.

Speaking at the opening session of a two-day capacity building workshop for young lawyers in Abuja on Monday, Bello asked older politicians, senior advocates and leaders in order sectors to give room for the younger generation who have the capacity to effect the much needed change in the country.

“When I see aged people sleeping at the senate or house of reps, contributing nothing when they have young people at their constituencies to promote, I feel ashamed,” he said.

Bello also commented on the crisis which trailed the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) election that produced Olumide Akpata as president.

He asked senior lawyers to accept Akpata, a non-senior advocate of Nigeria, as the head of NBA.

Also speaking at the event organised by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS), Akinseye George, president of the CSLS, lamented over the delay in criminal justice despite the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

“Several years after the coming into effect of the Act, the criminal justice system continues to experience delays and congestions,” he said.

“Our centre is monitoring about 25 high profile corruption cases in court. These have been stuck in the courts for years despite the provisions of the ACJA for speedy trials.

“In other words, the improvement in the criminal procedure law and the increasing number of lawyers and senior advocates on a yearly basis has not translated to greater effectiveness of the criminal justice system, greater access to justice by the poor or improved justice delivery system in the country.

“Although more courts are being established and the legal profession is growing by the day, there is not much to write home about justice delivery in the country.

“Unless the legal profession reinvents itself and returns to original nobility and integrity for which it was reputed, the confidence of the majority of Nigerians in the profession will continue to decline.”

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