The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) being the umbrella body of all lawyers called to the Nigerian Bar, has commenced the “Promoting the domestication and implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA) Campaign” (“the ACJA Project”) which aims to strengthen the Nigerian criminal justice system and promote wide-spread criminal justice reform, by way of the state-level domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA), with a view to ensure uniformity in the administration of criminal justice legislation across Nigeria; and also promote the smooth implementation of the new criminal justice regime which the ACJA represents, by building stakeholders’ capacity across states.
The ACJA Project with sole support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation seeks to improve the state-level adoption rates of the ACJA, which is a Federal Legislation and is currently domesticated in less than 10 out of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria. It is worthy of note that, the ACJA is only applicable to states that opt to domesticate same as part of their compendium of laws; therefore the ACJA project seeks to ensure that the innovations introduced in the ACJA are uniformly and independently adopted by all states of the Federation. The ACJA project will span a period of three (3) years from 2017 to 2019 and shall be executed in three phases across the 6 geo-political zones; North-Central, North-West, North-East, South-South, South-East and South-West Nigeria, and particularly within the twenty eight (28) states that are yet to domesticate the ACJA.
The first phase of the ACJA project will be executed with the following states: Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Kaduna, Ogun and Zamfara.
The Second Phase will be implemented in 2018 with the following states: Abia, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Edo, and Yobe.
The Third Phase of the ACJA project will be held in 2019 across the following States: Adamawa, Niger, Osun, Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Cross Rivers, Katsina, and Taraba.
It is against this background that the NBA is organising the National Administration of Criminal Justice Conference 2017 (#ACJAC2017); a high-level consultative forum between key representatives of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms of State Governments and would focus on the domestication and implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act by States that are yet to do so. This Conference would essentially be a dialogue on the domestication and implementation of the ACJA, achieving its goals and ensuring that relevant agencies and personnel carry out their roles/obligations as required under the ACJA.
The Conference is scheduled to hold on the 9th of November, 2017, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja – Nigeria.
The Chief of Staff to the President of the NBA, Mr. Muritala Abdul-Rasheed, Esq. is heading a dynamic team for the conference planning. Four Sub-Committees emerged from the central committee, and these include the Contact Committee, Technical Committee, Media and Publicity Committee as well as the Finance and Administration committee. Though, the NBA 2017 Administration of Criminal Justice conference is a one-day affair, the flow of preparations indicates that the NBA will score another spectacular success come November 9, 2017.
What to expect:
A preliminary session at the conference will provide an overview on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and its role in helping to reform the Nigerian Justice System. This would give participants the opportunity to have a clear understanding of what Nigeria’s criminal Justice System was, where we are now and where it will be at a point where all the States of the Federation would have effectively domesticated and implemented the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Participants will get to know how the provisions of the Act had preserved existing criminal procedures and introduced innovations that would enhance the efficiency of the justice system. It is noteworthy that unlike the CPA and CPC, the ACJA adopts a more 21st century approach to criminal justice administration and synchronises better with the Evidence Act 2011; thus facilitating uniformity between existing laws and providing a formidable platform for the seamless administration of the criminal justice framework in Nigeria.
Other sessions will deliberate on, dissect and critically analyse the provisions, innovations and implementation of the Act at both Federal and State levels against the background of the objective of reforming the Criminal Justice System across the Federation.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) under the visionary leadership of Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN with a vision to build for Nigeria #ABraveNewBar is again keeping faith with Nigerian Lawyers in meeting the core objectives of the NBA primary of which is the promotion of the rule of law.
NBA-ACJAC Media and Publicity Sub-Committee
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