In furtherance to the objective establishing CSOs Coalition for the Domestication of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (2015) in Kano State; the coalition under the leadership of Mohammed Bello – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) African Centre for Innovative Research and Development (AFRI-CIRD) today Friday 10th August 2018 paid an advocacy visit to the Honorable Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Kano State. The 45mins meeting held at the office of the Attorney General. The AG welcomed the team, while expressing his happiness to be recognized for such a visit. Mohammed Bello expressed profound gratitude to the AG for making out time irrespective of his busy schedules to attend to the Coalition, and furthermore informed the AG of the objective of the courtesy call. The courtesy call according to Mohammed was to first introduce the Coalition to the AG; secondly for update on the ACJA Act 2015 domestication in Kano State; and thirdly to inform the AG on the Coalitions’ readiness to consolidate all efforts including those made by NBA, MacArthur and RoLAC to amplify the speedy passage into law of the act in Kano State. Mohammed further mentioned that after the passage into law of the ACJA Act 2015 in Kano, the Coalition will also monitor and track its implementation among the core institutions in order to ensure compliance by the institutions.
The AG in his response first commends effort of the CSOs for the thought to have a Coalition to support in the domestication of the ACJA Act 2015 in Kano State. In his view, this is an indication that people are tracking government activities, and also an indication of support by the people for government to be more responsive to the people. The AG expressed keen interest and pledged support to the Coalition as he gave an overview of the current state of the ACJA Act 2015 in Kano State. According to him at the time he came into the office, the ACJA Act 2015 was then yet to be reviewed. Meanwhile since his assumption to duty, concerted efforts went into the review of the Act to balance provisions of the ACJA Act 2015 and the already in place Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Supports from MacArthur and RoLAC were very instrumental in ensuring technical review of the ACJA was done and achieved in Kano State, he added. Furthermore, during the technical review meetings which he chaired, a particular section of the Act which has the potential for truncating prosecutions was innovatively addressed to cushion such effect.
This singular effort he stated was applauded and accepted by all stakeholders involved in the review. It was considered a major achievement, and since then other states of the federation have continuously requested for the Kano revised ACJA Act for possible adoption. That of Kano was ranked the best amongst other states of the federation considering how creativity and innovation was utilized in the entire review to generate Kano State ACJA Act.
As a development, the Kano State ACJA Act has since been submitted to the Executive Council, and has been approved by the Governor, he added. Meanwhile, the Act is yet to be taken to the legislative assembly for deliberations and subsequent passage into law, this he attributed to administrative issues sometimes associated with the public service. However, the Governor he said has redirected for the Act to be transmitted to the State legislative assembly for further deliberations and actions. In his view, this is the current position of the Act in Kano State.
While concluding on his comments, he reiterated the need on the existence for Coalitions of this sought, saying that the Coalition came timely at the time when extra support and push is required to speedy the passage of the Act into law in Kano State. He advised that the Coalition should intensify efforts in extending advocacies of this nature to all the relevant institutions, while contributing to sensitization of such institutions on the Act, especially the legislative assembly. This he concluded will serve as catalyst to speedy up the processes for the domestication of the Act in Kano State.