Kano Government to Domesticate Criminal Justice Act

Nasir Ibrahim

The Kano state government has pledged to domesticate the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA, 2015) so as to facilitate speedy administration of justice in the state.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar revealed this while receiving coalition of twenty civil society organizations advocating for the domestication of the ACJA and the Child Right Act in the state.

Addressing the coalition in his office on Friday, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar said the draft of the ACJA has already been approved by Kano state Executive Council, adding that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has directed the transmission of the bill to the House of Assembly for passage into law.

He said Kano state was not in a hurry to implement the bill verbatim like other states because the state has a peculiar justice system made up of high courts, magistrate courts and Sharia courts operating under a single code.

“We set up a committee comprising judges, magistrates, Sharia court Khadis, lawyers and other stakeholders to review the ACJA alongside the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

“Other states just embraced the ACJA and changed its name without any modification, but in Kano we decided to study the Act because we can’t just throw away our code which is effective and embrace something we have not even studied,” Mr Mukhtar explained.

The commissioner added that one of the uniqueness of draft ACJA bill is it will address the challenge of “trial within trial” which frustrates judges and prolong the trial.

In his remarks, Muhammed Bello, head of the AFRI-CIRD who led the coalition, said the group would take the campaign to the state House of Assembly and sensitize members on the need to adopt the ACJA.

“We would monitor implementation of the Act in collaboration with our institutions such as the police and courts to ensure compliance,” he said, adding that the group would also create awareness on how the ACJA can enhance criminal justice administration, offer victim protection and secure the society.

The ACJA became an act in 2015 after it was passed by the National Assembly and signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan. The act seeks to strengthen and speed up the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria.

Source: National Heritage News: http://www.nationalheritagenews.com/kano-govt-to-domesticate-criminal-justice-act/