Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday disclosed that it has finalised plans to adopt and domesticate the Administration of Criminal Justice Act across 28 states of the federation where the act has not been adopted.
NBA’s President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the association hopes to achieve this through advocacy and provision of technical support to the States with a view to guiding them to domestication or adoption.
He was speaking at a one-day conference on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, organised by the NBA in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
According to Mahmoud, the association will engage in provision of continuing legal education to stakeholders by working in partnership with the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS).
He said: “The NBA envisages that the project will be implemented in three phases over a period of 36 months in 28 states, which are yet to domesticate the ACJA legislation.
“The 28 states will be divided into three groups which will be spread across the years 2017, 2018, 2019. The states that will be selected for each year and phase will reflect all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.”
To ensure efficient and effective achievement of the intended results of the project, Mahmoud disclosed that the NBA has designed some administrative structures which will include Project Management Team, State Committee and NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE).
“We propose to launch an Administration of Criminal Justice website which shall serve as the information hub and the go-to site for information regarding criminal justice administration in Nigeria. We shall also design a portal for online delivery of continuing legal education training,” Mahmoud said.
The president added that “the association believes that within the context of our federal system, it is possible to promote alignment of objectives of our laws and legal principles, synergy of our institutions and acceptance of efficient institutional processes based on national and indeed internationally accepted standards.
Mahmoud said: “As at now, 8 States have adopted and passed the Administration of Criminal Justice. A few others are in the process and at various stages of passing the legislation. In effect, 28 states have not. It was in this context that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) approached the MacArthur Foundation with a project proposal to support criminal justice reforms in Nigeria and in particular to support the adoption and implementation of the ACJA.”