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BEHIND BARS BUT NOT SENTENCED: THE ROLE OF COMPUTERIZED CENTRAL REPOSITORY IN ADDRESSING AWAITING-TRIAL PROBLEMS IN EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA
Quick dispensation of justice is necessary for every democratic society to succeed. It is encouraging to see studies, concerns and active agitations from people on the promotion of quick justice in Nigeria. Unfortunately, these studies and agitations have not yielded any concrete results. This article examines how a computerized central repository system can address awaiting-trial problems in Ebonyi State. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative approaches of research, a sample of 1,498 respondents were drawn from Ebonyi State. Purposive and multi-stage sampling techniques were used to reach the respondents. Questionnaires and in-depth interviews served as instruments for data collection. After the administration of instruments, data were sorted, coded, and analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square, Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, and multiple linear regressions. Findings confirmed that while there is an uptick of awaiting-trial problems in Nigeria, there are no meaningful provisions to address it despite the fact that provisions exist within the Nigerian legal framework. Regression analysis revealed the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) method facilitates pretrial detention and brings it to quick conclusion as against the manual method. Based on the findings, the study calls for the creation of a computerized platform to automate all the Criminal Justice bureaucratic processes and make them faster through a centrally based computerized centrally repository system that is accessible to all agencies involved in Criminal Justice administration.
awaiting-trial problems, computerized central repository, criminal justice agencies, ezimechile, justice delivery