Northern States to Review Penal Code

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By Laleye Dipo

Governments in the 19 northern states have resolved to review their penal code to take care of present day challenges, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State, Mr Nasara Danmalam, disclosed in Minna on Thursday.

Danmalam said a new draft penal code has been prepared and sent to the states for domestication.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the State Executive Council meeting, Danmalam said the modern penal code has taken into consideration the new trend of crime in the country including cyber crime, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism.

“All these crimes were not captured in the old penal code law. With the situation we are now, we should have laws that will adequately take care of these new trend of crimes,” he said.

Danmalam also announced that in a bid to reduce the workload and pressure on judges and magistrates as well as customary court judges, the council has also approved the establishment of multi-door court.

Under the arrangement, “a body of neutrals will be set up to adjudicate on issues”.

He said the council’s decision will now be sent to the state House of Assembly for legislation.

The commissioner however said the body of neutrals will consist of professionals or people with vast experience in the issue to be adjudicated upon.

Meanwhile, the council has also approved a new development plan which will pave the way for the development of the state from 2020 to 2023.The last action plan terminated in 2019.

The Commissioner for Planning, Alhaji Mamma Musa, said the action plan covered all sectors of the state’s economy, adding that relevant stakeholders were also consulted before the policy was put together.

Speaking on the implementation of the 2015-2019 Development Plan, Musa said government recorded tremendous success but was slowed down in 2019 by bad roads and insurgency in parts of the state which caused the diversion of funds to address the problems.