The speaker of the House of representatives, Hon Femi Gbajamiamla has said that the Nigeria’s justice system needs to be reformed.
The speaker who was represented by the chairman house committee on justice, Ugonna Ozurigbo at the NILDS-PRAWA Roundtable Discussion on Reform of the Criminal Justice System of Nigeria with National Assembly held in Abuja.
He said that there is indeed the need to fast track the Nigeria judicial reform system to align with the international best practices.
According to him, the Nigeria’s justice system needs reform starting from police, correctional service or criminal laws including woman personell that manage our justice institutions needs reforms.
“These reforms can be send to legal practitioners who provides the electorates reforms to criminal suspects. Some aspect of our current criminal justice system increase corruption and delays justice that enable criminals to get hook of the law.
“I hope for a reform that will review the whole of police architectural structure to refer police investigations and respect to human rights and rule of law.
“Increase funding for victim of forensic and expert personell to encourage justice without favour. We should consider the creation of criminal court.
“As a legislature we will not be oppose to the amendment act to remove the establishment of correctional service center from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. This i believe will fast the reduction of decongestion,” he added.
Also speaking the senate president Senator Ahmed Lawan who was represented by the chairman senate committee on Finance Sen.Olamilekon Adeola said with the rising insecurity in the country, we must be ready to strengthen our justice system and be board enough to ensure criminals go through prosecution. This will serve as a deterrent to others. In so doing this must promote peace and development.
“A Discussion on the roundtable like this I’m confident that we will examine the issues related to the subjects from their background to the substantive matters and attend to solutions.
“I’m glade the event is in partner with PRAWA and open society initiative for west Africa,” he said.
In her welcome address the executive director of Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Dr Uju Agomoh, said that One of the key thing we are emphasizing in this particular event is the need to understand the connection between the criminal justice system, security and development. We cannot continue to operate in silence and that is why we are not getting it wrong. So we need to as a people ensure that proper synergy are build within all the sectors so that we can progress ourselves.
“If you look at the congestion we find in the places of detention and how it is affecting the ability to do proper rehabilitation, litigation, and also affecting the security of these places and the people find in these facilities. Many of these are young people who do not have jobs. If you create more jobs then it will deals with that aspect. So we must control the rate which people are receiving within and outside the criminal justice system.
“We must ensure that we have people who are suppose to be in the custody. There are lot of people who are minor offenders, who have no business to be in the custody. They suppose to be give non custodial measures. They should be in the community. There is no need for goverment to be spending resources on them.
The director general of NILDS, Prof Abubakar also said that the worst thing injustice you can do to person is to denied him or her of her rights.
In Nigeria we have a lot of issues, the issue of insecurity, unemployment, economic degradations. We are careless about those innocent people in the various prison there. Those people were never committed offences buy they were sent to jail.