FG restates commitment to justice sector reform

The Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN), has said that the Federal Government will not rest in its efforts in reforming the justice system for effective and efficient justice delivery and promotion of the rule of law in the country.

Speaking at the network of Justice Sector Reform Teams’ conference held in Nasarawa State, the SGF said the Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee (FJSRCC) has been driving the implementation of the justice sector reform action plan through collaboration with relevant stakeholders in addressing the various challenges militating against effective and efficient administration of Justice.

Apata, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Maria Odigie said the number of states with justice sector reform team has risen to 30 and called on states yet to establish their team to do so without further delay.

He disclosed that the implementation of the Administrative of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 has continued to engage the attention of the FJSRCC due to its reaching reform in the administration of criminal justice.

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The SGF said, the Act provides a broad legal framework for a more effective cross-sector collaboration and oversight between agencies in criminal justice administration and protects the rights of citizens.

According to him, the provisions of Sections 29, 33 and 34 of ACJA requires Chief Magistrates to submit the reports from the officer in charge of a police station to the Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, which is expected to analyse the reports and advise the Attorney General accordingly.

He urged various states reform teams to drive the implementation of the provisions, using the adopted templates and protocols, which sets out agreed principles and guidelines for robust information gathering, sharing and management, as well as a framework for resolving cross-institutional problems.

In his speech, the secretary of the FJSRCC, Felix Ota-Okojie said the Federal Government, through his committee, will continue driving the implementation of Sections 29, 33 and 34 of ACJA for the good of the country.

He added that the FJSRCC, which is promoting decongestion of prisons has so far caused the release of over 200 detainees in various detention centres across the country.

The network of justice reform teams conference, in a draft resolution, applauded the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) for securing the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the implementation of the National Policy on Justice, 2019.

The conference also called on the AGF to convene the National Summit on Justice by next year, adding that the policy should form a basis upon which the Justice Reform Teams would engage their various state governors for resources for effective implementation.