A legislative Advocacy and Sensitization workshop on the Domestication and Implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 in Bauchi State was held yesterday 25th January, 2018 at Chartwell Hotel and Suites Bauchi.
The occasion witnessed dignitaries from the Judiciary, Legislature, the private Bar, public Bar, Academia, Civil Society Organizations and other key stakeholders from the Police, DSS, NSCDC, FIDA, Air Force, Army, Prisons, Law Reforms Commission, Traditional rulers and council of Ulamas.
In his Welcome address, the Chairman of the NBA Bauchi branch, M. M. Maidoki Esq, welcomed participants to the workshop while appreciating the efforts of the NBA President; A. B. Mahmoud OON, SAN, MacArthur foundation and the Project team for deeming it fit to come to Bauchi to hold the sensitization workshop.
Speaking at the workshop, NBA 1st Vice President Caleb Dajan Esq, who represented the NBA President; A. B. Mahmoud OON, SAN encouraged participants to fully participate in the discussion. He noted that the ACJA is an important legislation that needs the inputs of all critical stakeholders in the state.
He later on inaugurated the nine (9) member state committee assigned with state level tasks to build partnership and work in collaboration with key stakeholders working in the area of domesticating and implementing the ACJA 2015, in Bauchi state.
In his submission, the Project Coordinator of the NBA-MacArthur ACJA Project; Muritala Abdul-Rasheed Esq, said that, the NBA seeks to ensure that, the innovations introduced in the ACJA are uniformly and independently adopted by all States of the Federation subject to local peculiarities.
“The purpose of today`s sensitization workshop with stakeholders in Bauchi state is to assemble key stakeholders, ACJ practitioners and members of the bar to galvanise support for the immediate passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly and transmit same to the Executive Governor for assent”.
He noted that, the project team shall hold similar workshop in eight other states of Adamawa, Edo, Jigawa, Kano, Kogi and Ogun within the next two months.
He called on the support and cooperation of all participants and partners in implementing the outcomes of the sensitization workshop without any delays.
The Solicitor General of Bauchi State who represented His Excellency, M. A. Abubakar the Executive Governor of Bauchi State noted that the state has already started taking steps to have the ACJL of Bauchi state. He declared the workshop open on behalf of the Executive Governor.
Delivering the Keynote paper titled; “the need for speedy domestication of ACJA, 2015 in Bauchi” Hon. Justice A. H. Suleiman said the essence of ACJA is to fast track proceedings. He noted that looking at S.30 of ACJA 2015, the issues that came with pending bail application would be reduced if not totally eradicated if ACJA is implemented.
Hon. Justice Suleiman urged all stakeholders present to contribute immensely to the deliberations.
Prof. A. Alubo, who was the lead speaker said ACJA2015 is being reviewed presently. He went on to highlight some of the key innovations of ACJA such as notification of reasons of arrest, which stipulate that “suspect must be notified of the reasons for the arrest”, so also is S.7 which stipulates that there is no arrest in lieu as some of new innovations that the ACJA represent.
Prof. A. Alubo, Faculty of Law, University of Jos
He cautioned that not all provisions should be adopted hook, line and sinker. He cited the provision which stipulates that only lawyers can prosecute, which he reiterated is practically impossible given the present capacity of other prosecuting agencies.
He concluded by reiterating that ACJA is a welcome innovation which will go a long way in advancing the criminal justice system in the state.
Hon. Justice G M. Mahmud who chaired the session opened the floor for discussion.
D. M. Yakubu Esq, DPP Bauchi state, argued that ACJA is aimed at promoting the efficient delivery of criminal justice in the legal system thereby urging the state Assembly to expedite action in adopting the bill.
One of the discussants’,Hajia Shafa’u Y. Ladan, chief Magistrate1 in Bauchi state stated that the highlight of ACJA 2015, is the empowerment of women by ensuring that women can serve as sureties. She also frowns at situation where the police in their first information report (FIR) mixed up contractual cases with criminal cases.
Dr. Garba Tettengi SAN, one of the panelist cautioned that; in adopting the law, states should look at the provisions critically as some of the provisions require huge investment, which some of the states may not have the financial capacity to implement.
Dajan Caleb Esq, gave the closing remark. He thanked the speakers and panel members, while noting that, their presence has been invaluable and without any doubt has helped to make the event a great success.