OrderPaperToday – The Senate through its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has promised to strengthen and update the obsolete act guiding the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) stated this on Wednesday at screening exercise for nominees appointed by President Muhamnadu Buhari to the Commission.
Bamidele said: “Be rest assured that the Senate will work on the bill in getting it passed very soon as a way of strengthening the Commission for better performance and invariably upgrading our legal system for effective and efficient dispensation of justice”.
Prior to the Chairman’s statement, members of the committee lamented the “dormant” status of the Commission.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North), said: “This Commission as the body constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of law reforms, ordinarily supposed to be visible but not visible at all”.
Another member of the committee, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central), also informed that the Commission had only attempted seven law reforms between 2017 and 2020, showing its dormancy.
“The worrisome aspect of the dormancy, are the existence of obsolete penalty clauses in our law books begging for review .
“Obsolence of penalties like N200 fine or six months jail term for offenders of serious crime is ridiculous and not deterrent as it supposed to be”, Basiru added.
The nominee for the Chairmanship position of the Commission, Professor Jummai Audi, noted that although the Commission tried to carry out law reforms, the extant act regulating its activities has been a stumbling block.
This, she noted, can be rejigged through an updated law passed by the 9th National Assembly.
Audi alongside, Ibrahim Mohammed Olatunji from Osun State and Barrister Bassey Dan Abia from Akwa-Ibom State, nominees for membership of the Commission were also screened.
The nominee for the South East, Ebele Donald Chima was absent.