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Constitution review: NBA canvasses state police

By Inalegwu Shuaibu

ABUJA—The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has recommended the creation of State Police and the establishment of the electoral offences commission in the proposed amendment of the 1999 constitution.

The submission of the NBA as presented to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution yesterday also contained proposal for the establishment of an Independent Police Complaint Commission.

Besides, it urged the Senate to speed up action on the justice sector bills pending before it, stressing that the Nigerian criminal justice delivery system and the entire justice sector is in dare need of reform.

President of NBA, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) while addressing the Senator Ike Ekweremadu-led committee listed the bills that require urgent attention as follows, Prison Reform bill, the National Human Right bills, the National Judicial Council bill and the Legal Provision bills.

But he added that the much needed electoral reform may have little effect on conduct of elections in Nigeria without a general change in the attitudes of Nigerians.
He said, “We had a retreat in Uyo and the result is what we are presenting today to the Senate Committee as a draft copy of the constitution. We want to use this opportunity to also urge the Senate to fast track passing of the justice reform bills.
Effort to reform the constitution will enhance if some of the bills are passed.

“We are concerned about passage of National Human Right bills, we cannot talk about human rights when the number one victim of human right abuse is the victim. We also want you to look at the prison bill which has been the longest in the cooler.

“The prisons are deplorable, we need to have the bills in place because a situation where 70 percent of inmates are awaiting trials, it means something is wrong.”


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