A bill to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015 to make it more effective and humane has scaled second reading in the Senate following a presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu during plenary.
The bill titled, ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (Amendment) bill, 2020′ was read for the first time on June.30, 2020.
Kalu said that the bill when amended would create a criminal justice administration legislation that is both more effective and more humane explaining that by more effective, it means responding to crime in ways that produce socially desirable results—greater safety, less fear, less suffering, greater respect for the rule of law and less injustice.”
He noted that this would be the first time an attempt was made to amend the law since it became an Act in 2015.
The bill seeks to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015; the sections contradicting the principles of fair hearing and court jurisdiction as provided in the Constitution and further avert some loggerheads between the administration of criminal justice Act and the Constitution.
Contributing Senator Gabriel Suswam, PDP-Benue, said that it had become imperative to amend the criminal justice act and not just about amending some sections as proposed by the sponsor of the bill as there are lots of mistakes in the Act and people have been unjustly convicted because of the mistakes that have been found in the Act especially if they have not been challenged up to the Supreme Court adding that the proposed bill will be an opportunity to correct those mistakes.
Suswam also said that most states had not domesticated the ACJA due to the fact that it had failed to meet up with the aspirations of the state.
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human rights and legal matters to report back within four weeks.