Cleen Foundation, an NGO, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kaduna State, have inaugurated a resource centre to host soft and hard copies of judgments on corruption cases in the state to facilitate their access by legal practitioners.
Dr Benson Olugbuo, the Executive Director of the organization, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja, on Friday said the Kaduna branch of NBA was selected to serve as a partner to host the centre in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, another NGO.
He said the initiative was part of the organization’s ongoing project on promoting accountability and transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA) in Nigeria.
Olugbuo said the goals of the project hinged on reducing corruption, promoting judicial transparency in the processing of anti-corruption cases and enhancing accountability in the criminal justice system of the country.
“This is with a view to making information on recent court rulings and judgments easily accessible both online and offline to legal practitioners. This will also be disseminated through the same way to the law enforcement agencies, judges, prosecutors and defendants who are responsible for the administration of criminal justice. Government agencies, legal scholars, researchers and Civil Society organizations, working for justice sector reforms especially with the application of ACJA on corruption and accountability, will also find it very useful”.
He explained that the project principally sought to monitor cases of corruption in relation to the ACJA 2015 through a web-based platform called `Uwazi’ which is functional, accessible and within the reach of the public.
The centre is expected to serve as a repository of court rulings both on corruption and financial crimes related cases in the state, he further said.
Olugbuo added: “For more impact-based monitoring and reporting of the administration of the criminal justice system across the focal states, it is expected that the NBA will periodically give updates on the resource centre and its successes. At the last outstanding 6th Bi-Monthly meeting, scheduled for first Week in December, we expect a report on the success rate of the usage of the centre. We want to know the rate of engagement with the centre, this is to understand the advancing work in the justice system”.
He appreciated the NBA in the state for hosting the centre and all its efforts from the concept stage to the point of implementation.