The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muktar Abimbola, on Monday handed over the Administration of Criminal Justice Law Draft Bill to the Speaker of the Oyo state House of assembly, Honourable Michael Adeyemo, with a plea that the bill be passed soonest as possible, adding that the Community Service Bill earlier submitted to the House should also be given expeditious passage.
Justice Abimbola, while handing over the 47 parts and 481 Sections Draft Bill stated that it was a common ground to say that there was delay in trials before the court but delay in administration of criminal justice has a greater consequence as it affects the liberty of a person and a right to fair hearing.
According to him, the law when it comes into operation would have a salutary effect on criminal justice system in the state as the provisions would not only assist in quicker trials but also has innovative inclusions, which gives greater recognition to adult suspects and child offenders
He explained further that the principle of restorative justice was more enhanced in the draft bill as focus would now be shifted to how victims of crimes could be adequately catered for and compensated rather than the previous law that focused on trial rights of an accused as it relates to fair hearing.
The Chief Judge reiterated that the new rule, which was compliance with best practices and has been adopted in other states of the federation, was a more functional model that provides for parole and community service in lieu of custodial sentences.
“The Honourable Speaker sir, My lords, the Honourable Attorney General, Ladies and gentlemen, one cannot overemphasize the competence of this law in criminal justice system. The passage of the bill unto law is now your responsibility.”
I humbly present a copy of the bill unto you Sir, with a plea to quicken the passage unto law soonest as possible,” Justice Abimbola concluded.
In his response, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Michael Adeyemo, expressed his appreciation to the Chief Judge on what he described as the obvious concern he has for improvement in the condition of the state’s legal system, adding that the bill would be one of the fastest that would be passed by the assembly.
The Speaker added that the House has many members who are legal practitioners and they all know the significance of the bill, promising to work on it.