Nigerian Law Reform Commission responsible for obsolete laws in statute books, says Senate

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has accused the Nigerian Law Reform Commission of being largely responsible for predominance of
obsolete laws in the nation’s Statue book.

Lawmakers who were members of the committee made the submission on Wednesday while screening members of the commission.

The list of nominees was recently sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Chairman of the committee and senator representing Ekiti Central, Opeyemi Bamidele and his counterpart representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, declared that the Law Reform Commission has not been active.

Expressing his displeasure, Senator Nwaoboshi noted that “this commission as the body constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of law reforms is ordinarily supposed to be visible but it is not visible at all.”

Also, senator representing Osun central, Ajibola Bashiru, noted that from the commission’s records, it has only made seven attempts at law reforms between 2017 and 2020.

“This shows that it is dormant. The worrisome aspect of the dormancy is the existence of obsolete penalty clauses in our law books begging for review. Giving penalties like N200 fine or six months jail term for offenders of serious crime is ridiculous,” he said.

Chairman-designate for the commission, Professor Jummai Audi, who promised to revive its activities to meet public expectations, added that the Extant Act regulating the activities of the commission was its greatest encumbrance.

He appealed to the National Assembly to ensure the passage of a bill seeking to reform the commission for better performance.

He called the attention of the Senate Committee to the fact that the bill to reform the commission has since passed through all the stages of legislation in the House of Representatives but awaiting Senate concurrence.

Senator Bamidele in his closing remarks after the screening exercise assured Professor Audi that the Senate would expedite action on the bill to stimulate its smooth passage by the National Assembly.

 

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