Insecurity: Bauchi Assembly pushes for Criminal Justice Bill amendment


 

The Bauchi State House of Assembly has attributed the worsening spate of insecurity being experienced in Nigeria to the poor administration of justice.

The assertion was made by the House Committee on Justice and Judiciary while presenting its report on a ‘Bill for a Law to Provide For Administration of Criminal Justice in the Courts of Bauchi State and For Related Matters 2022’, which was laid by the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Bello Muazu Shira, representing Shira Constituency.

In the report, which was presented during the plenary on Wednesday, the Committee explained that it has engaged stakeholders of the administration of justice in Bauchi State to support and facilitate a critical review of the Bill.

Saga Gist reports that the Committee observed that the 2018 Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the State remained impossible to be implemented due to numerous existing gaps and flaws that characterized the law, necessitating the dire need to review and amend the Law.

According to the Committee, it has worked in collaboration with the stakeholders and with a group, the Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, knowns as Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN) for in depth and comprehensive review of the Bill, during which they discovered many drafting errors, duplicate provisions and cross-referencing gaps in several sections of the Bill, which are likely to cause controversies and legal complications during implementation of the Law.

The Committee further observed that the reviewed law will meet the realities associated with administration of justice generally, adding that many provisions omitted in the 2018 Administration of Criminal Justice Law were incorporated in the Bill to make it conform with international standards.

Some of the provisions included will enhance quick dispensation of justice.

It urged the House to adopt the recommendations and pass the Bill into law. The House unanimously adopted the recommendations of the Committee.

The Committee had recommended that the Chief Judge of the State be advised to designate a special court with Judges to handle all sexual and gender-based violence cases in the State, with a view to ensuring accelerated hearing of the cases, protect the integrity of victims, guarantee diligent prosecution and secure punishment for offenders.

It further recommended that Magistrate Court of the First Grade be given the jurisdiction to try rape cases as it will assist in quick dispensation of justice on the sexual and gender-based violence related cases.

Majority Leader of the House, Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu, representing Azare/Madangala Constituency thereafter requested the House to allow a Bill for a Law to Provide for Administration of Criminal Justice in the Courts of Bauchi State and for Related Matters 2022 to be read for the third time and he was seconded by the Minority Leader, Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo representing Chiroma Constituency.

After the members approved the motion, the Speaker, Abubakar Y Suleiman asked the Clerk of the House, Umar Yusuf Gital Esq to carry out the 3rd reading and it was done.

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