When we were sworn in, I made it clear that this administration focuses its attention on the liberty of her citizens and that we attach a great premium to the establishment of social justice and fairness. Personally, I have been an advocate of social justice and I am in pain when I see ordinary citizen who is being harassed, intimidated, and incarcerated for offences they did not commit and with my experience and profession as a lawyer at the bar, I observed that most people you see in police custody or awaiting trial in prison, 45% of them are innocent. Our people have formed this bad character or conduct of framing cases against innocent people using the police to rope them into crime, into an accusation of corrupt and criminal activities and dumping them in the cell.
As a lawyer, we are confronted with this situation everyday but because of our justice system where once you hang an accusation of murder, kidnap and robbery on a person the court doesn’t pay attention into finding out the main details of what happened, so once those allegations are brought, the person is charged before the court and the next thing the magistrate will do is to send the person to the A.T.M because she doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear such cases. In most cases, those matters come up where there is a crisis or where people are facing land matters.
Been here as attorney general I think one of the major assignment of an attorney general and chief law officer of a state is to ensure that there is fairness and social justices in the state because, in this ministry, we have a department for social justice and fairness. Their work is to identify cases of this nature were citizens right are been trampled upon, where people are put into detention for long without trial so we receive a petition from such people. From day one I sent a signal out that it will no longer be business as usual and that our priority here is to ensure that there are social justice and fairness to the ordinary Imo citizens.
While I was trying to draw my schedule on how to confront this issue, I learnt that a bill has already been sent out to The House of Assembly, that bill is on the administration of criminal justice law. Which law is a replica of the administration of criminal justice act that has been powered by the National Assembly, the essence of that law is to speed up the process of criminal justice, by removing all the hiccups and obstacle that will impede the due and speedy administration of the justice So Imo State has adopted that law, pass it, and it is now within Imo as one of our laws.
Now as the new attorney general and commissioner for justice, we have received the law, internalizes it and we will make sure that after this coronavirus we will have means to expand it and ensure that every prosecutor, magistrate and judges have it and content of that law is to make administration of justice fast and easy for everybody both the accused and the complainant. This will frustrate the idea of keeping someone in detention without trial, in other not to make unnecessary allegations without facts, so that the judges we have a template upon which to make sure that there is speedy administration of justice.
This is the reason am happy because am coming with this vision to make sure there is fair play in the administration of justice and I have this law which will aid me to do that, so am excited because am now left to supervise and ensure the operators of the law of the justice system in Imo obey the law to ensure speedy trial and dispensation of justice.