The Senate President Ahmad Lawan has called for the strengthening of Nigeria’s Justice System amidst rising insecurity in the country.
Lawan spoke in Abuja on Wednesday, April 21, at a one-day Roundtable organised by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA).
Lawan said: “No society grows without a productive criminal justice system, considering the additional role the sector plays in maintaining order and also in fostering peace.
“With rising insecurity, we must be ready to strengthen the justice system and likewise be bold enough to ensure that criminals go through diligent prosecution.
“This is to serve as a deterrent to others, reduce wrongdoings, promote peace as well as enhance growth and development.”
Also speaking, Speaker House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila called for the reform of the Police Force and transfer of the Correctional Service Centres from the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution to the Concurrent List.
He was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Justice, Rep. Ugonna Ozurigbo.
Gbajabiamila said: “The scope of the Nigeria Criminal Justice System beginning with the Police; the Courts; the Correctional Service; our criminal laws and codes; including human personnel that manage our criminal justice institutions need reforms.
“As legislators, we will not be opposed to amending the Constitution to remove the establishment as well as management of Correctional Service Centres from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.
“This, I believe, will fast track and decongest our Federal Correctional Centres; and also enable willing states to provide better correctional service centres with better living conditions for their people.”
On autonomy for States Judiciary, Gbajabiamila said: “The autonomy being advocated by our judicial officers across the nation; should be granted without delay to encourage justice without favour.
“We should consider the creation of special criminal courts,” he said.
Director-General NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, called for the separation of the Ministry of Justice; from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Sulaiman said this would allow for easy prosecution of corruption; as well as restore public confidence in the administration of justice.