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DSN volunteer seeks stakeholders’ action to improve criminal justice system

By Sandra Umeh [NAN]

A Lagos-based Duty Solicitors Network (DSN) volunteer, Mr. Paul Umuzuru has called for a strengthened stakeholder’s action towards improving Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

Umuzuru told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday that it was expedient for volunteers to show more commitment to criminal justice delivery in the country.

Recall that duty solicitors are criminal defence solicitors who help offenders and those suspected or accused of committing crimes

The DSN is a group of volunteers that accompany magistrates to inspect detention facilities, take notes during proceedings and generally assist to ensure effective criminal justice delivery.

According to Umuzuru, a major challenge before the DSN is the commitment level of its members towards achieving set objectives.

“We must work hard to deliver on our mandate, the commitment level is very low, every volunteer is encouraged to join in steering the wheels of justice.

“We know that funding is another challenge, there is need for more dedication and commitment towards achieving our goals, “he said.

Also, Mr. Adebayo Akinlade, Chairman, Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, urged the judiciary to support criminal justice volunteerism by providing the right spur for volunteers.

He told NAN that DSN required some level of sensitisation to sharpen the consciousness of more volunteers on the task before them.

“The judiciary should provide the right tools for the job; we need the judiciary to establish an internal structure for reporting and dealing promptly with complaints.

“We also need the cooperation and support of other stakeholders in the justice system to ensure speedy and efficient delivery of justice,” he said. (NAN)


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