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Insecurity: Borno to amend Penal Code, upgrades 2 bills

Amidst rising insecurity and other challenges confronting Borno State and the northeast in general, the Borno State House of Assembly has said that it would…

Amidst rising insecurity and other challenges confronting Borno State and the northeast in general, the Borno State House of Assembly has said that it would amend two Bills in the Penal Code which it says will drastically curb the menace.

The Deputy Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Musa Askira, stated this on Thursday in Abuja, during a two-day retreat organized for the state legislators with the support of the European Union (EU) and the British Council.

A penal code (or criminal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction’s criminal law, which is applicable as a system of legal punishment, especially in the northern states, while criminal code is applicable in southern states in the country.

The Bills to be upgraded are “Administration of Criminal Justice and other Matters Connected Therewith Bill”; and “Borno State Penal Code Re- enactment Bill and Other Matters Connected Therewith Bill, 2022”.

The deputy speaker said with the two bills, emerging criminal activities such as cattle rustling amongst other criminalities which were not initially captured in the state Penal Code will be a thing of the past.

He said that the Penal Code which was last reviewed in 1994 will amend the criminal procedure code as it will introduce innovative provisions that could enhance the efficiency of the justice system.

He said, “Both Bills seek to promote efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime among other sundry issues that were hitherto not captured in our Penal Code laws.

“These two Bills are timely and will not come at a better time when our state and country at large is bedeviled with all kinds of emerging criminal activities such as cattle rustling which were not hitherto captured in our Penal Code law that was last reviewed in 1994.

“The administration of criminal justice and other matters connected therewith Bill, 2022 on the other hand, is an upgrade to our criminal procedure code in that it introduces innovative provisions that could enhance the efficiency of the justice system,”

Speaking earlier, the chairman, Borno State Justice Sector Reform Team, Justice Haruna Yusuf Mshelia, said the upgraded bills will birth the needed reform needed to reposition the state to face post insurgency challenges.

“Borno State is one of the states, if not the only state in Nigeria that is not having congestion in all its correctional facilities. The number of convicted prisoners in our correctional facilities far outweighs the number of awaiting trial inmates which account for the congestion in other states.

“Notwithstanding the above, reform is needed to reposition the state to face post insurgency challenges and cope with dynamism of modern society with its emerging new trends of crime and conflicts,” Mshelia said.