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NASS leadership wants police, correctional service unbundled

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Lawan. Photo: TWITTER/DRAHMADLWAN/TOPEBROWN

Leadership of the National Assembly is seeking immediate unbundling of Nigeria Police and the Correctional Service Centres.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who made the case at the Assembly, yesterday, also sought removal of the correctional service centres from the exclusive legislative list of the constitution to be added to the concurrent list.

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The duo spoke in Abuja at a one-day Roundtable on Reform of the Criminal Justice System of Nigeria. The event was organised by Prof. Abubakar Suleiman-led National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

Gbajabiamila in his remarks, read by a member of the House of Representatives, Uzuwagbo Ugonna, said: “The scope of the Nigeria Criminal Justice System, beginning with the police, the courts, Correctional Service, our criminal laws and codes, including human personnel that manage our criminal justice institutions, need reforms.

“As legislators, we will not be opposed to amending the constitution to remove the establishment and management of Correctional Service Centres from the Exclusive Legislative List and add it to the Concurrent List. This, I believe, will fast-track and decongest our federal correctional centres and enable willing states to provide better correctional service centres with better living conditions for their people.”

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On autonomy for state judiciary, Gbajabiamila said: “The autonomy being advocated by our judicial officers across the nation should be granted without delay, to encourage justice without favour. We should consider the creation of special criminal courts.”

Lawan, who was represented by Solomon Olamilekan, said: “No society grows without a productive criminal justice system, considering the additional role the sector plays in maintaining order and in fostering peace.

“With rising insecurity, we must be ready to strengthen the justice system and be bold enough to ensure that criminals go through diligent prosecution. This is to serve as deterrence to others, reduce wrongdoings, promoting peace and enhancing growth and development,” he stressed.

Director-General of NILDS, Suleiman, in his remarks, called for the separation of the Ministry of Justice from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. He said this would allow for easy prosecution of corruption and restoration of public confidence in the administration of justice.

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