Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2021 passes third reading


By Anastasia Agunwa/Chizoba Okeke/Gloria Abugu

A bill for a law to establish the system of Criminal Justice Administration in Anambra State and to provide for related matters has passed through a third reading on the floor of the state legislature.

This followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on Judiciary on the bill at the "Committee of the Whole" during plenary on July 21.

The motion was moved by the majority leader, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor and was seconded by Mr. Onyebuchi Offor representing Ekwusigo constituency.

The lawmakers had amended and considered the report clause by clause, line by line on clause one, 130, 131, 132, 134, 164 and clause 177, deleting and inserting the necessary words and phrases.

The Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Douglas Nwachukwu had presented the report of the committee before the House for consideration.

The Speaker, Mr. Uche Okafor who presided over the plenary session gave account of the consideration of the report and confirmed that all the amendments were carried by the House.

According to the Speaker, after the amendment, we also agreed that commencement date if approved by this House shall be on August 8, 2022.

Okafor put it to vote and the lawmakers unanimously adopted it through a voice vote.

In his introduction of the report on the bill, Mr. Nwachukwu said that the terms of the report had gone moribund and needed to be upgraded to the current reality of time, in relation to crime action in criminal Justice and justice delivery in Anambra State.

He explained, “the essence of criminal Justice was not merely to punish the offender; the essence of criminal Justice all over the world is to find out where he or she has gone wrong in the society and make such individual a better person in the society.

``In a nutshell, the essence of criminal Justice all over the world is of three arms; reorientation, rehabilitation and reintegration.

``Mr. Speaker, this report before the house is due for consideration," he added.

The bill seeks that any suspect arrested for a capital offence shall within a reasonable time be brought before a High Court for remand.

Also, any suspect arrested for a non capital offence for which the Magistrate Court has no jurisdiction to try, shall within a reasonable time be brought before a Magistrate Court for remand.

Equally, an application for remand shall be made ex parte in the prescribed Report and Request for Remand as contained in Form 12 in the First Schedule to this Law and no charge sheet shall be filled for the purpose of remand proceedings under this Chapter.

Lastly, according to the Bill, the High Court or Magistrate Court after examining the reasons for the arrest and the request for the remand as contained in the Prescribed Report and Request for Remand Form filed by the police, and is satisfied that there is probable cause to remand such person pending the receipt of legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General and/or his arraignment before the appropriate court or tribunal, may remand the person in custody.



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