Not less than 30 journalists and editors covering crime and judiciary beats have concluded a sensitization workshop on the role of journalist on Criminal Justice and Anti-Corruption reform in Lagos recently.
The event put together by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption RoLAC, an agency funded by the European Union and implemented by British Council in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos Council urged journalists to always go extra mile to dig out facts on any issue before making it public.
This advice was given by Mrs. Ajibola Ijimakinwa; RoLAC Lagos State Coordinator while speaking at the media engagement.
She said RoLAC works are towards enhancing good governance, strengthening rule of law and curb corruption in Nigeria, and hinged on four major components; Implementation of the Nigerian Criminal Justice Reform; Access to justice for women, children and persons with Disabilities, PWDs,; Strengthening the fight against corruption; Citizens’ Engagement in criminal justice reforms and the fight against corruption.
In his delivery at the event, Lagos Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi said “Successive governments in Nigeria had over the years made efforts to fight corruption and expressed commitment to reform the criminal justice system.
“Governments have established anti-corruption agencies with mandates to independently investigate, prosecute and prevent corruption.
“There is no doubt that corruption has caused a terrible drain on public resources and eroding citizens’ trust and confidence in the system.
“I must say that we are happy to partner with the British Council’s initiative on Rule of Law and Anti-Corruptiom, RoLAC programme on the role of journalists on criminal justice and anti-corruption reform.
“I also want to acknowledge the series of training by RoLAC on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, ACJL.
“At the end of this programme, I am optimistic that we will beam our searchlight more on criminal justice institutions like the Police, Correctional Services, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, ICPC, EFCC and others,” Ajayi assured.
Speaking further, the NUJ Chairman said, “it is our assignment to look beyond press statements issued by these criminal justice institutions and do our personal investigation on issues of corruption.
“It is therefore, our obligation to ensure we enhance the civil society and public engagement in the fight against corruption and the criminal justice reform process.
“Let us make it a point of duty to fight corruption, knowing fully well that Nigeria has ratified and signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
“Nigeria is also a signatory to both the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on the fight against Corruption.”
About 30 members of the NUJ Lagos Council were shortlisted for the event.
Other attendees included Chibogu Obinna, a Gender Development Consultant who is a Consultant to RoLAC; former NBA Chairman, Ikorodu Branch Mr. Bayo Akinlade and other Executive members of Lagos NUJ.
Break-out session put participants to tasks that enabled journalists x-rayed key issues confronting them in achieving professionalism and proffer identified solutions.