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Administration of Criminal Justice Act Amendment Bill Scales 2nd Reading in Senate

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A bill to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 to make it more effective and humane scaled second reading in Senate on Wednesday.

This followed the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Orji Uzo Kalu during plenary.

The bill is entitled, ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (Amendment) bill, 2020′.

Leading the debate, Kalu who is the Chief Whip of the Senate said that the bill was read for the first time on June 30, 2020.

Kalu said that the bill was aimed at creating a criminal justice administration legislation that was both more effective and more humane.

“By more effective I mean that we should respond to crime in ways that produce socially desirable results greater safety, less fear, less suffering, greater respect for the rule of law and less injustice.

He noted that this was the first time attempt to amend the law since it was enacted in 2015.

“The bill seeks to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015; the sections contradicting the principles of fair hearing and court jurisdiction as provided in the Constitution.

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“This is to further avert some loggerheads between the administration of criminal justice Act and the Constitution.”

The lawmaker named some recommendations in the bill to include: “That Section 8 (4) of the Principal Act which provides;  that arraignment and trial of a suspect for a crime shall be in accordance with the provision of this Act unless otherwise stated in this Act be amended.

“It should be amended by deleting “unless otherwise stated in this Act” by inserting “and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

“The reason is that the Constitution, the Supreme law of the land provides in section 1(1) as follows;

“This Constitution is Supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In view of the above provision of the Constitution, all authorities in Nigeria shall conform to the Constitutional provision.

“Therefore the administration of criminal justice Act shall also conform with the supreme provision of the Constitution 1999 as amended.”

Contributing Sen. Gabriel Suswan (PDP-Benue) said that the act has to be amended because some of its provisions had became obsolete.

“It is not just about amending some sections as proposed by the sponsor of the bill.

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“There are a lot of mistakes in the Act and people have been unjustly convicted because of the mistakes, but because they have not been challenged up to the Supreme Court.

“We now have the singular opportunity to as proposed here to correct those mistakes,” he said.

Suswam said that most states have not domesticated the Act due to the fact that it had failed to meet up with the aspirations of the state.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human rights and legal matters to report back within four weeks.
(NAN)

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POLITICS

PDP Congratulates IBB at 81

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on his 81st birthday.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Wednesday, described Babangida as a courageous leader.

It also described him as a statesman and nationalist, who remained exceptionally loyal and committed to national unity, stability and economic development.

“He is an undiminished quintessence of development-oriented leadership, whose government laid solid foundation for infrastructural and policy development in key sectors of our economy.

“He remains a Pan-Nigerian leader and the PDP recognises and deeply appreciates his continuing role towards the growth and stability of our great Party and the nation at large, even in his retirement,” it read.

Ologunagba said the PDP celebrated Babangida on the auspicious occasion, and prayed to God to bless him with more years in good health.

He said that this would enable the nation to continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and wise counsel.

The spokesman said this was also important in the party’s mission to rescue, redirect and rebuild the nation..(NAN)

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Lagos Govt to Create Fit-for-purpose Education Model – Commissioner

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, says the government is creating a fit-for-purpose education model for learners in the state.

Adefisayo said this on Wednesday in Ikeja, during a news briefing on 2022 Lagos State Education Summit.

She said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had shown efforts and implemented various initiatives across the education sector to make available high-quality education accessible to all.

According to her, these strides can be scaled up with re-energised synergy between all stakeholders in the education sector.

She said that the summit was part of the strategies to harness resources as well as the best brains from across the world and deliver the desired quality education to learners.

The commissioner said that the summit, slated for Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, would explore ways to ensure sustainability in quality education in the state.

The theme of the summit is, ‘Creating a Sustainable Fit-For-Purpose Education Model’ while the sub-theme is ‘Prioritising Education in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and the 30-Year Lagos Development Plan’.

She said that participants, numbering about 5,300, would be expected to engage and co-create new ideas and solutions for the development of education in Lagos State and the country at large.

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”The summit seeks to explore a holistic approach toward education and lifelong learning from early childhood to higher education that is necessary for developing, re-skilling and enhancing an active population.

”We are expecting all stakeholders in the public and private education sectors in Lagos State.

“They include educators, school owners and administrators, parents, students, education researchers, NGOs, education consultants and private sector development partners.

”The summit will also afford the Federal Ministry of Education, other federal education agencies and state commissioners of education across the country an opportunity to co-share ideas for the development of education,” Adefisayo said.

She said that in order to allow for robust participation of all stakeholders, the summit would be hybrid allowing physical and online participation.

The commissioner said that all participants would register via the link which had been provided on www.lagoseducationsummit.com

She said that the on-sight arrangement would accommodate about 300 participants in-person, while over 5,000 would participate online.

According to her, the summit aims for discussion that will lead to change in paradigm in teaching and learning.

She said that such was important as recent studies had reflected challenges relating to productive value of young people coming out of education institutions.

In her remarks, the Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Lagos State, Mrs Elizabeth Ariyo, said that having examined the present situation in the state, the need for a paradigm shift was pertinent.

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Ariyo said that a change could not be expected by sticking to the prevailing teaching and learning orientation. (NAN)

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2023: Observations from Kenyan Election Show INEC needs to Review Voting Hours-CODE

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Connected Development (CODE),a Civil Society Organisation says observations from the just concluded Kenya election have revealed the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to adjust its voting hours for 2023 poll.

Mr Emmanuel Njoku, Director, Democracy and Governance, CODE said this at the official launch of CODE’s annual report that detailed its various interventions and effort to institutionalise accountability and transparency in governance across Africa.

Njoku said that INEC’s review of voting hours was recommended because if not done, more than 30 million citizens could be disenfranchised in the 2023 General Elections .

He said that this was because Kenya used the same Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) device and also transmitted its results electronically just like Nigeria and the process was practically the same as the only difference was in the numbers.

He added that CODE was in Kenya to observe the election and to also see how the device would work so as to prepare for Nigeria’s election in 2023.

“Kenya’s voter register is just 22.1 million and the voter turnout was 65 per cent, which was about 14 million votes, in Nigeria we are expecting around 45 per cent voter turnout which is close to 40 million people.

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“Yet Kenyan polls open as early as 6am and close by 5pm that is 11 hours for a voter register of just under 2.1 million what that means is that everybody gets to vote.

“ However, people in Nigeria with higher voters’ polls open for just six hours from 8:30 and closes by 2:30pm that is just six hours for a voter register of 95 million people.

“With the BVAS, it takes a person two minutes to accredit and voting , mathematically, if it takes one person two minutes to go through the process to vote, it means in an hour, it will take just about 30 persons to vote,” he said.
Njoku added: “This is because if we go ahead with what we have, which is just six hours for 95 million persons to be able to get to vote, we may end up seeing close to 30 million Nigerians being disenfranchised in the 2023.
“Going forward, if Kenya with a voter register of 22 million persons allows 11 hours for citizens to vote, INEC needs also to expand its voting time.”
Mr Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer, CODE, said that the report launched revealed CODE’s activities of holding public officials accountable and demanding that they keep their promises to their constituents by expediting timely interventions.

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Lawal said that in 2021, with support from Ford Foundation, CODE supported local leaders in Rivers grassroots in a campaign borne out of the need to combat pervasive corruption, poor accountability, and the negligence of community development.

He said that this have been amounting to years of under-development, exposure to hazardous health risks due to oil substance leakages into water supplies and the sheer impact of these on livelihoods and the quality of life.

He said that CODE visited 19 project sites in 10 communities in nine LGAs and as a result ,so many abandoned projects were completed.

Lawal added that the World Bank has approved a 150million dollar credit for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), to improve secondary education opportunities in the country.

He said that the AGILE project which was being carried out in 7 states would be implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Connected Development CODE, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

He said that the seven states were Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kastina, Borno, Plateau and Ekiti State.

He stated that the AGILE PROJECT was expected to be a platform for girls health education, gender based violence awareness, and prevention as well as life skills, for a period of 5 years

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“We also tracked N1.167 billion worth of constituency projects in 30 communities across 3 senatorial zones of Kaduna State under Deepening Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Addressing Accompanying Corrupt Practices ( DESPAAC).

“We trained 53 students in Anti-Corruption, Transparency, and Accountability under the Power Of Voices Partnership Fair For All Project In Oil Regions.

“CODE also initiated and revived integrity and anti-corruption clubs in 30 schools across FCT, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states,” he said.

Lawal said that CODE assessed the readiness of 90 Primary Health Centres(PHCs) to receive, store and effectively administer vaccines with the purpose of equally driving quality standardisation of PHCs across the six geopolitical via follow the money project among others .

Also speaking ,Mr Ani Nwachukwu ,Research and Policy, CODE, said that there was need to address the security situation in the country especially at the grassroots otherwise it would affect the 2023 General Elections.

Nwachikwu said that CODE was implementing a national security watch projects that looked at analysing security breakdowns across the federation.
“We are unveiling the first edition for the monthly security dossier,” he said. (NAN)

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