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Published On: Wed, Nov 19th, 2014

New CJN advocates independent Attorney-General’s office

Justice-Mahmud-MohammedBy Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, has called for the separation of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) from the office of the Minister for Justice, arguing that this will improve the justice administration system in Nigeria.

Speaking before the Senate while he was being screened by the lawmakers for the appointment, Mohammed observed that the office of the Minister of Justice is a political office that requires occupants to take political decisions most times.

He noted that allowing the Justice Minister, who is answerable to the President, to occupy the office of the AGF does not mean well for the justice system of the country, emphasising that the AGF must be independent from political interference.

Speaking further, he blamed the legal practitioners over the delay in the dispensation of justice in the country, saying it depends mostly on the prosecutors, who usually allow the cases to linger for so long, either because they are not telling their clients the truth or because they lack documented facts.

He called for the setting up more courts to handle cases, saying it will help to hasten the suspension of cases in the country.

The Senate President, David Mark, while clearing the nominee, commended the new CJN for his appointment, even as he charged him to bring transformation to the Nigeria’s justice system. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has refused to sign the Prison Service Act, 2014.

In a letter he wrote to the Senate President, he said this is because the section 4 of the Act, which establishes the Prison Service Board; a vital component of policy dissemination and implementation, is silent on the composition, chairman and members of the board and their respective tenures of office.

 

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