NBA BENIN CALLS FOR REPLACEMENT OF 1976 CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW
Benin Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, has urged the Edo State House of Assembly to pass into law a bill to fast-track the criminal justice system and replace the 1976 Criminal Procedure Law of Bendel State.
In a statement issued by the association's Law Review Committee to newsmen in Benin-city, on the outcome of a comprehensive review of the old law, as applicable in the state. Said the bill, "The Edo State Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2014," would serve as a viable alternative to the current criminal justice system which could no longer accommodate modern realities.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Razak Isenalumhe, explained that the bill, when passed would provide for the application of modern technology, such as audiovisual devices, in criminal investigations and reduce cases of forceful confessional statements from criminal suspects.
He maintained that the bill had not received "any attention" from the state house of assembly, since it was presented to the House in the first quarter of 2014.
He also decried the level of congestion in Nigerian prisons as a result of the lapses in the current criminal justice system, called for an accelerated hearing on the bill, "as a matter of urgency" and in the interest of the people of the state.
The former Benin branch of the NBA Chairman and chairman of the review committee said prison is congested today because bail is granted often in cases of misdemeanor and felony of lesser categories adding that accused persons most times do not have sureties.
He then called on the Edo State House of Assembly to ensure that this bill is passed into law without any further delay.