Set up criminal justice monitoring committee, Falana tells presidency

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the presidency to set up the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee to ensure that criminal matters were speedily dealt with.

Falana, stated in a letter dated January 13, 2016, which was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, that the establishment of the committee was provided for in section 469 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The letter titled, ‘Request for the inauguration of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee’, stated that the law provided that the committee which should be chaired by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory.

Other members of the committee include, the  Attorney-General of the Federation or his representative not below the rank of a Director in the Ministry, a judge of the Federal High Court;the Inspector-General of Police or his representative not below the rank of Commissioner of Police and the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service or his representative not below the rank of Comptroller of Prisons.

Others also include, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission or representative not below the rank of Director and the Chairman of any of the local branch of the Nigeria Bar Association in the FCT to serve for two years only.

The rest are the Director-General of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria or representative not below  the rank of Director and a representative of the civil society working on human rights and access to justice or women rights to be appointed by the committee to serve for a period of two years only.

Referring to the provisions of the law, Falana said the establishment of the committee was to ensure, “ Criminal matters are speedily dealt with;

congestion of criminal cases in courts is drastically reduced; congestion in prisons is  reduced to the barest minimum; persons awaiting trial are, as far as possible, not detained in prison custody;

“The relationship between the organs charged with the responsibility for all aspects of the administration of justice is cordial and there exists maximum cooperation amongst the organs in the administration of justice in Nigeria;

“Collate, analyze and publish information in relation to the administration of criminal justice sector in Nigeria; and

“Submit quarterly report to the Chief Justice of Nigeria to keep  him abreast of developments towards improved criminal justice delivery and for necessary action; and

“Carry out such other activities as are necessary for the effective and efficient administration of criminal justice.”

PUNCH NG


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