The new Director for Public Prosecution Lady Justice Frances Abodo has unveiled plans which she is going to implement in ensuring that her office fulfills its constitutional mandate.
In her maiden speech on Thursday, Abodo thanked all her predecessors especially Hon. Mike Chibita and Hon. Richard Buteera for their initiatives which she said have improved upon the dispensation of justice in the country, and she promised to build on that.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Elem and the entire top management of the ODPP for ably standing in the gap when Justice Mike Chibita was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court,” she said.
“I want to say to all those who do their work with professionalism and integrity that you have my complete loyalty and support. And to those that have tainted the name of this noble institution, please change your ways. otherwise your future in this institution will be short-lived. I mean it.”
On the issue of limited staff, Abodo vowed to mobilize resources to recruit 60 new prosecutors to cover all courts and magisterial areas
“In the short term, we have to look to our internal resources and make good use of the staff we currently have. I would like us to review our current deployments in light of the existing backlog. Where is this backlog? Which Region, which courts, what type of offences? How many people do we have in those areas and courts? What is the complexity of these cases? What talents do we need to deploy? ”
Abodo also suggested that with the rise in cyber-crime, they should start developing internal capacity to prosecute these complex crimes.
“We therefore need to start nurturing internal capacity; a specialized skills set among interested or trained prosecutors to deal with offences ranging from illegal cyber payments, illegal electronic transfer or acquisition of funds, terrorist financing, money laundering among others”
She also called for a Prosecutor academy to help in capacity building of staff as is the case in other government institutions like Police, Judiciary and Prisons
“We may not have to wait to get resources to construct physical buildings, but we must quickly focus (with the support of Government) on mobilization of resources to kick- start the Academy. We urgently need to re-skill and re-tool our prosecutors. This calls for us to quickly develop training packages, provide laptops, and identify trainers in various fields.”