By Mark Orgu, News/Comments, August 22, 2023
ABUJA-One of the leading prominent lawyers and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has bestowed his confidence on the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, even as he noted that there are pressing tasks the minister which need urgent attention. Stating however, the need to reform the criminal justice system with particular reference to what he described as “the utter confusion in the duplicated work of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Crimes Commission, ICPC”
.Agbakoba reiterated however his conviction that the tasks before the Minister of Justice , whom he described as a very good colleague would be simple. This was contained in Agbakoba’s social media handle , known as X, formerly, twitter, on Monday, titled “Urgent Tasks For The Attorney General Of The Federation.
“There are pressing tasks to be carried out urgently by the new Attorney General of the Federation. Major reforms of the criminal justice system with particular reference to the utter confusion in the duplicated work of our law enforcement agencies in particular EFCC and ICPC are urgently needed. Also, there is a need to unbundle EFCC and restrict them to investigation only while a new National Prosecution Agency ought to be established.
“Another key reform would be a completely decentralized Police Force at the local state and Federal levels. A major revamp of our outdated laws is urgently needed to follow the Rwanda example that modified 1000 laws. Last but not least the AGF must work on Speed of Justice. It’s a crying shame it takes upwards of 15 years to conclude cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
“The other very important task before the Attorney General will be the unnecessary and wholly inefficient matter of over centralization of our superior courts. There is no better time than now to hack down the highly centralized Court systems in Nigeria.
“The AGF is invited to consider major constitutional amendments to create a system of Federal and State Courts. State Courts ought to have exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to them. This is also the case for Federal Courts whose Jurisdiction must be limited to Federal causes. This will free up the Clutter at the Supreme Court and make it the Policy Court it ought to be in the first place.
“We have a brilliant Attorney General in Lateef Fagbemi, SAN. I am convinced that this will be a simple task for him. He is not only a very good colleague but also someone in whom I have the highest confidence regarding his abilities.”
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