HRAN Lauds Jonathan For Signing Into Law Administration Of Criminal Justice Bill
The Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) yesterday lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for signed the landmark Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2013 (ACJ Bill) into law on Thursday, 14th May 2015.
While commending the President for taking the laudable step of signing the landmark law, HRAN urges the President to also assent to the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition Bill), which was passed by Senate on the 5th May, 2015. “Time is of the essence as it is important that landmark justice sector Bills such as the VAPP Bill is signed before May 29th to ensure the protection of all persons from violence which is not or not appropriately catered for by extant legislation”, the group said.
Felicitating with civil society and the whole nation over the signing, HRAN said the passage of the Bill into law marks a milestone in the fight to cleanse the criminal justice system as it will drastically address many challenges in the administration of criminal justice at the Federal level and in the FCT.
According to a statement endorsed by the cordinator of the group, Melissa Omene, the ACJ Act will ensure the speedy dispensation of justice, protection of society from crime and the protection of the rights and interests of both the defendant and the victim.
“The new Act, which merges the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act (applicable in the South) and the Criminal Procedure Code (applicable in the North) into one principal Federal Act, is intended to apply uniformly in all Federal Courts across the country.
“The ACJ Act also has great potential to substantially reduce the number of persons in custody while awaiting trial as one of the many innovative provisions of the Bill requires the Comptroller General of Prisons to provide quarterly reports to the Chief Judge and the Attorney General of the Federation on all persons awaiting trial that have been held in custody for more than 180 days.