AGF, EFCC, CJ seek effective implementation of laws to fight crime in Nigeria

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has canvassed the effective implementation of existing laws to fight all forms of crime in the country.

He said, it was not enough to have laws but that effective implementation of the laws must be in full force for crimes to be brought down to the bearest minimum.

The AGF spoke on Monday in Abuja, at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement summit on the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice ACT and the official signing of the Practice Directions on remand proceedings, guidelines and monitoring framework for the implementation of remand proceedings.

At the summit held at the headquarters of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and attended by critical stakeholders, Fagbemi called for synergy of stakeholders in the justice sector for effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, ACJA.

While waiting for the amendment of ACJA as suggested, he said courts should use the laws already in existence, especially the deployment of Mutual Legal Assistance, MLA, to repatriate those convicted in absentia but are outside the country.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief Judge of the High Court of FCT, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf assured of the commitment of the judiciary to uplifting and promoting various provisions of ACJA for effective administration of criminal justice.

He also stated that the new guidelines will ensure that Judges adhere to the rule of law and the rights of suspects in issuing remand order.

In his own speech, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, called for a holistic review of the provisions of the ACJA.

The EFCC boss recalled that ACJA has achieved a lot in the administration of criminal justice in the past ten years of its existence but, however, observed some flaws, especially Section 396(7) which was annulled by the Supreme Court for been in conflict with the Constitution.

He cited the case of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, who was ordered to be retried simply because the judge that convicted him at the trial was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench.

The EFCC boss, who was represented by the Director, Legal, Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, also faulted Section 252(4)(5) of ACJA that denies a judge the power to pass sentence on a suspect who was convicted in absentia.

He also stressed the need for the Chief Judge and other critical stakeholders to sponsor necessary bills and amendment to the National Assembly.

Also speaking, the Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa stressed the need to harmonize the provisions of ACJA and the Nigerian Correctional Service Act l, 2019, to ensure seamless operations.

Represented by the Controller of Operations, National Headquarters, Ezekiel Kagah said the Correctional Service is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice.

AGF, EFCC, CJ seek effective implementation of laws to fight crime in Nigeria

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