The Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah on Tuesday solicited full support and cooperation from stakeholders to review and revalidate the Borno State Criminal Procedure and Penal Code Laws (1994), in order to pave way from primitive to international best practices for speedy dispensation of justice.
He said, to improve and reposition the criminal justice system in Borno which has been ravaged by over a decade Boko Haram conflict, all hands must be on deck for better justice delivery.
Justice Zanna stated this while declaring open a 3-Day workshop for validation of the two laws (Criminal Procedure Law and Penal Code Law) organized by Borno State Justice Sector Reform, JSR, in collaboration with British Council (BC).
In his welcome address, the Chairman of JSR team, Borno state, Justice Haruna Mshelia said, the workshop which has members from the Police, Correctional Service, Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Civil Society Organizations, the Media among others is apt and timely.
He said, in view of the role and dynamism of law in the society, a Committee was inaugurated for review of the two laws in the state.
The Committee he said, commenced work by creating sub committee to review some prinicipal laws affecting administration of justice, sadly, as the sub committee work progressed, the Covid -19 pandemic struck, thereby slowing down activity. Nonetheless, the committee mow have the Drafts of the penal code law and Criminal Procedure Law to evaluate for validation.
Therefore, the Justice Reform Team, JRT as a multi sectoral reform leveraged on its Partnership with Development Partners like the British Council under the programme “Managing Conflict in Nigeria” to pilot the validation process of the two laws, hence, this stakeholders workshop to enable for updating of the draft in terms of draftmanship technical know-how and retreat for members in the state.
“The clamour for reform in the criminal justice system in Nigeria has been a long one. This clamour was ingnited by the unnecessary delays in the trial process, congestions in prisons and dockets of Court with resultant implication on citizens’ constitutional roghts.
“To address these ills, the Federal Goverent promulgated the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015. That singular act, witnessed a mounted pressure on states to review their criminal justice laws in line with the Act.
“This workshop is to give all stakeholders, the opportunity to have an insight into the draft laws with the view to understanding it and make input on areas that borders on their mandate, have critical analysis and harmonization”. Mshelia said.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, represented by the acting Solicitor General, Barrister Abdullahi Hussaini pledged for full support to ensure better justice system in the state.
In his goodwill message, the National Programme Manager of Managing Conflict, MCN in Nigeria, Professor Muhammed Tabiu, SAN, represented by Dr. Ukoha Ukinwo, said, “MCN which is a partner, aims to support Nigerians with conflict resolution, at both the state and community level, especially in Borno, with focuses on reducing violence, promoting stability and strengthening resilience, so that Nigerians feel more safe and secure in their communities”.