Criminal Law

ACJA: FG restates stance to lead efforts towards justice reform

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

The Federal Government has again restated it’s stance towards reforming criminal justice administration in line with shared commitment under the National Policy on Justice.

The Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba gave the hint in Ibadan on Wednesday while giving a welcome address at the National Workshop on Implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

The South-West Zone Workshop held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital had participants drawn from the Nigerian Police, Directorate of State Service (DSS, Magistrates, NAPTIP and other stakeholders from Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos State.

The exercise which kicked-off in 2017 after the presidential inauguration marked the end of the capacity building exercise which has taken the team to the six geo-political zones of South-South, South-East, North-West, North-East, North-Central and now South-West.

While stressing further on collaboration amongst stakeholders at the programme, Agba noted that in a federation and constitutional democracy, there was need for federal and State stakeholders in the justice sector to jointly drive reform to enhance national development.

“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 provided a broad legal framework for more effective cross-sector collaboration and oversight between and amongst agencies in the ACJA implementation and the protection of the rights of citizens,”

Going forward, while lauding the Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee(FJSRCC) for developing the required templates for national implementation, the SGF further emphasised on Section 29(1), saying interface between the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation, Commissioner of Police and Attorney General of the States remain key for desired results.

In a goodwill message, the Special Guest of Honour and the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde hailed presidential team on it’s capacity building exercise towards ACJA domestication, urging for funding of the Nigerian Police and the EFCC in particular to help them overcome challenges that may impair the gains of ACJA implementations.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Olusegun Ogunwuyi, the governor said: ” In Oyo State, our administration has passed ACJA and has also put in place a monitoring Committee headed by the Chief Judge of Oyo State for proper implementation.

“Seamless relationships between the State, Police and other stakeholders helped the domestication processes,”

In a brief remarks, the Chairman, FJSRCC, Professor Muhammed Tabiu, SAN told newsmen that stakeholders in about 33 States of the federation have had their capacity built.

Represented by his Secretary, Mr Felix Ota-Okojie, he added that having rounded off the first phase of the exercise, the next phase according to him would be monitoring and evaluation.

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