Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 November 2012

Nigeria: FG Wants North, South Criminal Codes Dichotomy Abolished

The Federal Government says the unification of two criminal codes being operated by the Southern and Northern parts of the country will foster national unity.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), said this yesterday in Abuja while addressing participants at a workshop on the unification and reform of criminal and penal codes.

He said the Federal Government supported plans by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission to unify the laws, saying operating two different criminal codes had resulted in the North and South dichotomy in national discourse.

He also said the unification of the two sets of law would help government to forge a national unity as a crime in Lagos will also be seen as a crime in Kano.

He said the harmonisation would abolish the colonial heritage of two legal systems dealing with criminal matters, redress historical distortion and modernize the codes.

Chairman of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, retired Justice Umaru Kalgo, said that having a single penal code would promote sense of oneness.

The Criminal Code Act which operates in the South was passed in 1916 while the Penal Code Law was passed in 1959 and made applicable to the North.

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