Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday said that the Nigerian criminal laws are old and unresponsive and therefore cannot address the present challenges facing the system.
Tambuwal, who was speaking at the opening of a one-day public hearing of the House Committee on Justice’s Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2013, held at one of the hearing rooms of the National Assembly, said there was a need to pay more attention to Nigerian laws, especially the criminal laws, in order to pave way for speedy dispensation of justice.
“The House of Representatives is determined to pass this bill into law and will therefore eagerly await the outcome of this public hearing.
“There is no gainsaying that our criminal procedure has remained largely old and unresponsive to the demands of the public for equity, substantial justice and human rights,” he said.
Earlier in a remark, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, commended the House for its efforts at initiating the Bill, adding that, “There is no doubt that the Nigerian Criminal Justice is in dire need of a serious reform as the democratic system of government cannot function properly without an effective means of dispensing justice.”
Justice Mukhtar who was represented by a Judge of the Supreme Court – Kumai Akas, decried the current challenges facing criminal justice in the country, saying “painfully, these laws have not succeeded in ‘covering the field’ as it were, a situation that has brought to bear the current challenges the Criminal Justice system is facing in Nigeria.”