Law News
Senate Passes Criminal Justice Bill, Confirms Nweze Supreme Court Justice

SUPREME-COURT

The Senate yesterday in Abuja passed the Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) Special Provisions Act (Amendment) Bill 2014 in to law.

The bill will help in the decongestion of prisons across the country and was passed into law after a clause-by- clause consideration by senators.

The law seeks to compel the Comptroller-General of Prison to send monthly records of the entire inmates of prisons to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the Chief Judge of the relevant states.

Also, the chief judicial officer (state and federal) shall order the release of inmates who fall under the category of persons whose detention is manifestly unlawful or persons detained and have been in custody.

Similarly, inmates who are on remand or otherwise, for a period longer than the maximum period of imprisonment, which the persons detained could have served if they had been convicted, would be released.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Senate President, David Mark, who presided over the passage of the bill, said the law would help in the efforts to reposition the judiciary in the country.
“I want to congratulate all of us for passing this bill because of its importance,’’ he said.

In another development, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Justice Chima Nweze as Justice of the Supreme Court, following his screening by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The upper legislative chamber, on receipt of the letter of nomination from President Goodluck Jonathan, referred the nominee to its Committee on Judiciary for scrutiny.

The president, in conformity with Section 231 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, has powers to appoint a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
This is on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and subject to confirmation by the Senate.

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