Justice Sector Reform: Apata tasks teams to activate the implementation of ACJA in the States

Solicitor General of Federation /Perm Sec represented by DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT (ACJA), MRS TOWO AUSTIN - ODIGIE .

ABUJA (Min of Justice Report) – The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, has called on the Network of the Administration of Criminal Justice Sector Reform Teams, to activate the implementation of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) in their States for the benefit of Nigerians.

Apata made this statement in his welcome address at the Conference of Network of Justice Sector Reform Teams, in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

The Permanent Secreatry who was represented by the Director, Administration of Criminal Justice Act, Mrs. Towo Austin – Odigie, said it is expected that the State Reform Teams would continue to work with their State officials that have been trained to drive the implementation of the provisions in their States, using the adopted templates and protocols.

Apata explained that the templates and protocols set agreed principles and management as well as framework for resolving cross institutional problems.

He said, “Since the last Network in Ado-Ekiti, the Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee (FJSRCC), have continued to drive the implementation of the Justice Sector Reform Action Plan through collaboration with relevant stakeholders in addressing the various challenges militating against effective and efficient administration of justice.”

He continued that the implementation of the ACJA,2015 has continued to engage the attention of the FJSRCC due to its far-reaching reform of the administration of criminal justice. Adding that the Act which provides a broad legal framework for a more effective cross –sector collaboration and oversight between Agencies in criminal justice administration and protect the rights of citizens.

Apata disclosed that the training for the nation-wide implementation of Sections 29,33 and 34 of the ACJA has continued with the second and third phases that took place in Owerri for the South-East and Sokoto for the North West Geo-Political Zones.

He pointed that the provisions require the Chief Magistrate to submit the report from the officer in charge of a police station to the Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee who is expected to analyse the reports and advice the Attorney General accordingly.

He expressed satisfaction from the wide reception the implementation of the provisions has received from stakeholders, saying he expects various states to give a report of the level of implementation of these provisions of the ACJA in their states at this conference in line with resolutions at Ekiti State Conference.

Apata thanked the participants and development partners; European Union, the British Council and the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption programme (ROLAC) for their commitment and support towards the reform of the justice sector in Nigeria.

He also appreciated the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State for graciously accepting to host the Network Conference, the Chief Judge, and Attorney General of Nasarawa State for their support.

The Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, in his goodwill message, said that his State has made a lot of investment in justice sector reform, through construction of over four or five courts, adding that they have also passed the ACJ Law this year.

The Attorney-General of the State, Dr. Abdulkarim, who represented the Governor, said that they are already putting in place necessary guidelines for its implementation, and that is evident that the government of Nasarawa State is interested in the Administration of Criminal Justice Sector Reform.

Mr Oluwatoyin Badejogbin who represented ROLAC, called for collaboration with all stakeholders in order to achieve the objectives of making the justice sector better.

Present at the Conference were representatives from over twenty states of the federation who shared their experiences, challenges and achievements in the course of their duties.

Ogundoro Modupe
Deputy Director
Press & Public Relation Unit