6 August 2012

Nigeria: Cross River to Expunge Death Sentence From Own Laws

Calabar — Cross River State Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General Barrister Attah Ochinke says the state may delete the death sentence clause from its law books in the ongoing review of its criminal justice administration.

He said when he spoke to newsmen at the NUJ Press Centre in Calabar at the weekend that the state has embarked on a review of the colonial criminal justice laws it inherited from the colonial era.

He said the entire criminal laws in the state are archaic and urgently need to be reviewed, saying the old laws have unnecessarily impaired swift law administration in the state.

Ochinke said: "This is because from the point of arrest and prosecution is still too long and unnecessary so that we find a situation where our three prisons in the state have become congested with 'awaiting trial' detainees. The entire colonial code system is going to be reviewed. The draft is now ready and would be brought before the public domain for deliberation before they are finally adopted."

He also said henceforth all laws, deeds, agreements and Memorandum of Understanding anyone or group of persons enter into with the state government must be registered otherwise such would no longer be recognized by the state government.

Ochinke said there are situations where certain agreements between the state government are distorted thereby making the government vulnerable.

"We have established a department of law registration that will ensure that all the processes of signing of agreements ends there. Therefore, all agreements, deeds, law or memorandum of understanding would be registered at the law registry. Without this, any agreement anyone or groups enter into with the state government will be at risk of not being honoured or recognized," he said.

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