We Have Political Will to Make The North Great – Shettima …..Sets Up Committee to Review Criminal Justice System of the Region
We Have Political Will to Make The North Great – Shettima
…..Sets Up Committee to Review Criminal Justice System of the Region
By Alex Uangbaoje
Determined to restore the Security, Social-economic and Political life of the Northern Nigeria back to its glorious days, the chairman Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) Kashim Shettima said the current leadership of the group has the political will to make the North great again.
Speaking at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Committee of Attorney General and Commissioners of Justice of the Northern States in Kaduna, Shettima assures that soon the Region will bounce back and become the envy of the Nation.
He said even though the activities of the insurgents is still persisting, he however raised the hope that the days of the insurgents are numbered.
According to him, “The attendant consequences of the insurgency is the resort to the abduction and conscription of vulnerable and innocent people particularly school children.
“The case of the Chibok school girls has been universally condemned and still fresh in our mind.”
Shettima, revealed that there are series of abductions of innocent people by the Boko Haram insurgents but that the media is not giving them attention.
“Although not widely reported in the media there have been series of abductions of innocent people by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“The Boko Haram insurgency which has been raging on for the past six years is one of the many serious security challenges we are experiencing.
“It has been generally agreed that one of the root causes of the insurgency was unlicensed and inciting preaching by the sect which inevitably stoked the violence and culminated in the extremely complicated and unconventional security situation facing this part of the country and in particular the North-East.
For these reasons, Shettima said the NSGF had to “inaugurate this High Powered Committee of legal experts who, based on your legal standing, professional expertise and profound wealth of experience, were selected to critically examine the Criminal Justice System of Northern Nigeria vis-à-vis the current spate of emerging criminal offences prevalent in the Northern States and determine how best to incorporate them into the Penal Code.
“The establishment of this Committee is the direct outcome of one of the resolutions of the last meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum held here in Kaduna on the 11th of September 2015; to the effect that most of the criminal offences currently being perpetrated especially in this part of the country like kidnapping, cattle rustling and inciting religious preaching, inter-alia have either not been adequately covered by the Penal Code or not at all.
“Therefore it has become a matter of strategic imperative to review the existing Criminal Justice System in its entirety in order to ensure that it is up to date and consistent with our current situation.
“The Committee should also look at the condemnable activities of the so called sponsors of the insurgency and come up with legally pragmatic, appropriate and proportionate punishment. The Committee should also focus specifically on parents who because of some pittance, sacrifice their children as suicide bombers. Such parents must be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Similarly, the issue of cattle rustling has been gradually assuming a disturbingly unacceptable dimension which quite often degenerates into the vicious circle of unwarranted mass killings and deadly reprisal attacks.
“These are just few examples of the multifarious security challenges we are confronted with and in order to overcome them with appreciable degree of success we need to adopt an effective legislative framework; hence the need for the review of the Criminal Justice System of the Northern States.
“As legal experts, you are at liberty to fashion out the appropriate specific Terms of Reference. However to facilitate the process of your work.
He charged them to do their work in consistent with the Criminal Justice System provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended.
The following are the objectives of the committee :
”A thorough and meticulous review of the Penal Code as it exists with a view to pointing out its weaknesses and constraints in the overall administration of Criminal Justice System in the Northern States.
”Careful analysis of the various emergent security challenges confronting the Northern States and determine how best to incorporate them into the Penal Code for proper and effective administration of justice.”
The Committee was given two months to submit its report.