Law News
ACJA has Shifted Justice from Punitive to Restorative’

The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice Taiwo Abidogun, and other stakeholders have lauded the contributions of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act to the nation’s criminal justice system since the law came into force in 2015.

A statement by the Assistant Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Modupe Ogundoro, stated that Abidogun spoke during a two-day national sensitisation workshop on the ACJA recently held in Kaduna State.

The event was co-organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Kaduna State Government.

Represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Etsu Mohammed, Abidogun said the ACJA had shifted the goal of criminal justice administration from punishment to restorative justice by focusing on the needs of the society, the victims, vulnerable persons and human dignity as it had repealed those provisions in the criminal laws that had been subjected to all forms of abuses.

Abidogun added that the law had promoted effective and efficient criminal justice administration through the enhancement of the capacity of justice sector institutions to collect, preserve, share and manage crime information.

He said, “The criminal justice system had been bedevilled by a lot challenges, which include human rights abuses, delay in criminal trials arising from incessant adjournments, undue resort to interlocutory applications, absence of witnesses in court and absence of necessary policies and legislation that would facilitate smooth, speedy and effective administration of criminal justice and guarantee free and fair trial of suspects.

“It is in order to address the identified militating factors that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 was enacted.”

He explained that the Act merged and consolidated the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Code into one principal federal Act.

He called on stakeholders in the justice sector to collaborate to reform the justice system, urging states that had yet to reform their criminal justice to take advantage of the ACJA by adopting same in their states.

He said, “Presently, only six states have enacted their Administration of Criminal Justice Law while the Houses of Assembly in three states have passed the bill and it awaits the governors’ assent.”

Speaking, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, represented by the Kaduna State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Umma Hikima, disclosed that the state had recently passed the Administration of Criminal Justice Law and was ready for its implementation.

The Co-chair, Federal Justice Sector Reform Co-ordination Committee, Prof. Muhammed Tabiu (SAN), expressed gratitude to Kaduna State for the support to host the workshop which, he said, was very important to the justice sector.

Participants at the workshop were attorneys-general and commissioners of justice from the 19 states in the North, stakeholders from the justice sector, officials from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigeria Police, among others.

 Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Punch News

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