Insecurity: Borno Lawmakers to Consider 2 Bills on Penal Code, Administration of Justice

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

In the face of rising insecurity and the challenges inherent in Borno State and the northeast in general, the state House of Assembly is set to amend two Bills which it says will curb the menace.

The bills are “Administration of Criminal Justice and other Matters Connected Therewith Bill, and Borno State Penal Code Re- enactment Bill and Other Matters Connected Therewith Bill, 2022”.

The deputy speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Musa Askira stated this on Thursday in Abuja, during a two-day retreat organized for the state legislators with the support of the European Union and British Council.

The deputy speaker said with the two aforementioned Bills, emerging criminal activities, such as cattle rustling, which were not initially captured in the state Penal Code will be a thing of the past.

He said the Penal Code which was last reviewed in 1994 will amend the criminal procedure code as it will introduce innovative provisions that could enhance the efficiency of the justice system.

“Both Bills seek to promote efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime, among other sundry issues that were hitherto not captured in our Penal Code laws.

“These two Bills are timely and will not come at a better time when our state and country at large is bedevilled with all kinds of emerging criminal activities such as cattle rustling which were not hitherto captured in our Penal Code law that was last reviewed in 1994.

“The administration of criminal justice and other matters connected therewith Bill, 2022 on the other hand, is an upgrade to our criminal procedure code in that it introduces innovative provisions that could enhance the efficiency of the justice system” he said.

In his welcome address, the chairman, Borno State Justice Sector Reform Team, Justice Haruna Yusuf Mshelia, said the upgraded Bills will birth the needed reform needed to reposition the state to face post insurgency challenges.

“Borno State is one of the states, if not the only state in Nigeria that is not having congestion in all its correctional facilities. The number of convicted prisoners in our correctional facilities far outweighs the number of awaiting trial inmates which account for the congestions in other states.

” Notwithstanding the above, reform is needed to reposition the state to face post insurgency challenges and cope with dynamism of modern society with its emerging new trends of crime and conflicts” he said.

So far, Borno State is one of the remaining five states which are trying to domesticate the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, as 31 states have so far domesticated it.