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Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2019

NBA seeks domestication of criminal justice legislation in states

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From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, has advocated for promotion of the domestication and implementation of the administration of criminal justice legislation in the states of the federation.
The NBA President, Mr Paul Osory made this known yesterday in Minna at a Legislative Advocacy and Sensitization Workshop which was attended by all stakeholders like the police, military, prisons and magistrates as well as lawyers who are the implementing partners.
He said that, this is the only way justice will be brought closer to the citizens as one of the mandate of the association by ensuring the domestication of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) in the states in the country where only eight (8) states including Abuja has keyed into.
Represented by the North Central Vice President, Titi Egbey assured that the NBA will give full support and backing to states and declared intervention of the association where necessary to ensure its adoption.
In his remarks, the Niger State NBA Minna Chairman, Gimba Mohammed Esq said that a draft bill is in the process of being transmitted to the state assembly to ensure the domestication of the ACJA Act.
He applauded and welcomed the 2015 assent of the Act accepted by stakeholders with optimism and euphoria noted that the Act was beautifully drafted but with its own hitches.
Mohammed, however, charged the acting State Chief Judge, Justice Ahmed Bima to urgently review the recent increase in fees payable by the litigants and lawyers in the courts in Niger State.
He revealed that the astronomical increase is already working hardship on litigants and lawyers in the state noting that justice delivery as a social service ought not to come with such a heavy cost Obi has tendency of limiting access to justice.
The project coordinator and presenter, NBA MacArthur Foundation Project, Victor Abasiakan- Ekim Esq disclosed that ACJ in Nigeria is facing several challenges to include, lack of data/statistics, suspects stigmatization, lack of empathy and victims participation, allegation of torture, delays, non IT compliance court system and others.
He explained that the activities in Niger state would includes; state sensitization workshop, capacity development and continuing legal education as well as regional meetings (regulatory review) to determined the achievement of the objectives.
He said that the three years project of NBA Administration of Criminal Justice Project is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation with the aim of strengthen the Nigeria criminal justice system and promote widespread criminal justice reform across the country.

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