By Abdullahi Yahaya Maikano
Bauchi State Administration of Criminal Justice and Penal Code Laws twenty eighteen are being resuscitated in conformity with modern penal laws and practices.
The State Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Bello Muazu Shira gave the indication at the opening of a Four-day Stakeholders Retreat on Penal Code and Administration of Criminal Justice Law Bauchi State 2018 held at Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
The training which was organised by the State House of Assembly in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation, Rule of Law and Enforcement Initiative also known as Partners West Africa Nigeria P.WAN was aimed to review the state penal code and administration of criminal justice laws to conform with the current realities.
Bello Muazu Shira represented by the Minority Leader of the House, Bakoji Aliyu Bobo said the retreat will pave way for them to brainstorm on the proposed bills in order to come up with recommendations for possible presentation before the floor of the house.
He expressed optimism that the retreat will yield positive results considering the high turnout and calibre of the participants where standard documents that will address loopholes in the two bills would be provided.
“We’ve assembled here today to have a cross fertilisation of ideas so that we’ll be able to come up with a very sound recommendation for possible presentation before the floor of the house, of which at the end of the day we have to come up with a new Law that will help our judicial system in Bauchi State.”
In his welcome address, the Chief Registrar of Bauchi State High Court, Subilim Emmanuel Danjuma noted that the 2018 Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the State could not be implemented due to existing gaps, hence the need for the retreat to find a lasting solution.
Subilim Emmanuel who described the state’s Penal Code Law as archaic and outdated, explained that about 90% of inmates in the Correctional Centers in the State are being tried under a repealed law, and stressed the need for it to be standardized in line with modern penal laws and practices.
The Chief Registrar who thanked the House Committee on Judiciary for providing a legislation framework for the overview of the criminal justice in the State, commended Governor Bala Muhammad for ensuring all fundamental changes in the criminal justice sector were effected.
“as we sit hear today, the basic law of the administration of criminal justice in Bauchi State to wit: Criminal Procedure Code Law stand repealed, But unfortunately it is this same repealed law that is now being administered by all our courts in Bauchi State since 2018 in dispensing justice. The implication of this is that we are prosecuting and remanding accused persons under a non-existing law .”
In a remark, the Program Manager Partners West Africa Nigeria P.WAN Hadiza Usman explained that the law when revised would go a long way in providing a standard document that will stand the taste of time thereby meeting the needs of citizens of the state.
“at the end of this workshop we want a revised law that suits the needs of citizens of Bauchi State.”
The retreat has in attendance legal experts, law makers, civil society organizations among others across the state.