Kaduna State Government has inaugurated the Judicial Monitoring Committee on the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law in the state.
The committee was inaugurated by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Umma Aliyu-Hikima, in Kaduna following the domestication of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law 2017 in the state.
The 13-member committee is headed by the state Acting Chief Judge, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Bello, with other eminent jurists, representatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Department of State Service (DSS), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, human rights activists, as members.
The Attorney General while inaugurating the committee at the State High Court Complex in Kaduna, charged members to come up with modalities that would quicken the dispensation of justice, prisons decongestion in the state.
“The Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of ensuring effective and efficient of this law by the relevant agencies.
“This provision, though rather looking too terse and innocuous, has bestowed on this committee, enormous , challenging and tasking responsibilities of ensuring that all stakeholders in the Administration of Criminal Justice Sector apply the provisions of Administration of Criminal Justice Law to the letter with the aim of promoting effective management of the Criminal Justice institutions, speedy determination of criminal matters, prison decongestion and ensuring synergy and cooperation amongst the critical sectors in the Administration of criminal justice in the state,” he said.
While commending Governor Nasir El-Rufai for the speedy domestication of the law, which is the first of its kind in the north, the commissioner urged the committee to be committed to achieving its goals.
“It is my hope that the committee will come up with comprehensive modalities and strategies that will achieve its objective and ensure that the issues listed in section 467(2) are attained and actualized.
“With you, Honourable Chief Judge being the chairman of this committee, given your wealth of experience, your skills, your competence, expertise and dexterity, into this important but onerous task ahead,” the Commissioner said.
Responding on behalf of others, the Chairman of the committee called on members to acquaint themselves with the provision of the law aimed at reinforcing confidence in the justice system and identifying measures that would ensure expeditious determination of criminal cases as well as the administration of criminal justice in the state.
Bello also commended efforts of both the executive and legislative arms for their various roles in domestication the law in the state.
“On our part, all hands must be on deck to ensure to that the purpose for which the law was passed becomes a success,” he said.
The state branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, represented by its Vice Chairman, Samson Audu, noted that with the committee in place, the speedy dispensation of justice in the state, “shall be a reality”.
Audu, who is also the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Bar, added that Kaduna remains the leading state in the north with the Administration of the Criminal Justice Law.
The NBA representative expressed hope that other states in the north would take a cue from Kaduna in due course.