The Kaduna State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has received a donation of a cutting edge Legal Research Centre by the CLEEN Foundation.
The centre will be hosting soft and hard copies of corruption judgements, the Executive Director of the foundation, Benson Olugbuo, said, reiterating that the initiative is part of CLEEN Foundation’s ongoing project on “Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria with the support of the MacArthur Foundation.
Olugbuo, during his opening remarks at the commissioning of the centre in Kaduna, said: “The goal of the project is hinged on reducing corruption, promoting judicial transparency in processing anti-corruption cases; and enhancing accountability in the criminal justice system in Nigeria.
“This is with a view to make information (recent case laws – hard copies of court ruling/judgemments with application of ACJA), on corruption and accountability easily accessible (online and offline) to legal practitioners, law enforcement agencies, Judges, Prosecutors, Defendants, government agencies responsible for the administration of criminal justice, civil society organizations working for justice sector reform, legal scholars and researchers.”
Representative of the Kaduna State Chairman of the NBA, Solomon G. Yohanna (Esq), said the commissioning of the centre was a ground breaking event and that the branch appreciate CLEEN Foundation for establishing the Legal Research Centre. “The facility for this Legal Research Centre is temporal, we will soon move to a more befitting place, which is our permanent site, the Headquarters of the NBA in Kaduna.
Yohanna told the officials of CLEEN Foundation that Kaduna NBA is open to this kind of initiative in the future and he assures them that they will ensure that corruption and criminal matters will be put in the right place. “We will ensure that corruption and criminal matters will be put in the right place,” he declared.
In her remark, the Kaduna State partner of CLEEN Foundation, Barr. Priscilla Akau, appreciate CLEEN for choosing Kaduna state among the 8 states that CLEEN partners.
“We appreciate CLEEN Foundation for considering Kaduna state for being part of this novel initiative out of the 36 states in this country, very few states were selected, Kaduna state is privileged to be among the 8 states to be part of this project and we are not taking that for granted,” she said.
Adding, “We are really appreciative of that. For us the state partners, the experience is so awesome, it has given us the opportunity to see what happens in the courts, especially as it relate to Administration of Justice Act (ADJA), we are opportune to observe corruption cases mostly of EFCC and ICPC and we are also opportune to see how the innovation that has been created in the ADJA was put to implementation in court. For kaduna state in particularly I will say the issue of plea bargain is an area that was really put to use, we found out that a lot of cases that were in court actually got determined through plea bargain.
“It is something that is laudable, I think if not for the Administration of Justice Act and Administration of Justice Law that wouldn’t have been possible. I also want to thank CLEEN Foundation not for only this project, there are so many projects that CLEEN Foundation has been doing in the state and they have been considering the state,” she said.
Akau pleaded with CLEEN Foundation to continue which they have started in Kaduna state, she was explicit that Kaduna state is open and ready to collaborate with CLEEN Foundation in whatever project they feel they will bring to the state.