Anambra State House of Assembly has reconsidered a Bill for a Law to establish the system of Criminal Justice Administration in Anambra State and to provide for related matters (Repeal and Re-enactment) on the floor of the State Legislature.
This followed the presentation of the Bill for proposed amendment and recommittal during plenary by the deputy Majority leader of the House, Mr. Emeka Aforka.
The House had moved into a ‘Committee of the Whole’ for proper consideration of the Bill, and the observation made by the Attorney General of the State.
The Bill which was originally passed into law by the House, had not been assented to, by the State Governor.
Speaking on the Bill, the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Douglas Egbuna said there are areas of concern by the executive that needed the consideration of the House before assenting to’.
Egbuna said it was quite a little amendment on paragraph 3, that is, the proposed amendment to sections 157 of the Administration of Criminal Justice 2020, Repeal and Re-enactment, that is recommittal.
“It’s just to add paragraph 3 to section 157.
“The proposed amendment to that section is genuine.
“Section 157 subsection (1) stipulates that any person may make a complaint against any other person alleged to have committed or to be committing an offence, unless it appears from the enactment on which the complaint is founded, that any complaint for such offence shall be made only by a particular person of class of persons, in which case only the particular person or a person of the particular class may take such a complaint.
“157 subsection (2) says, ‘notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law, a police officer may make a complaint in a case of assault even though the party aggrieved declines or refuses to make a complaint’.
“Also, 157 subsection (3) adds, ‘A valid complaint made by a private person under subsection (1) of this section may be filed in court and when so filed shall be accompanied by- (a) a certificate from the Attorney General indicating unwillingness to prosecute; and (b) evidence that the complaint was made to the Police and investigated,” he stated.
Explaining further, the Committee Chairman said “the essence of the section 3 is to cushion the effect or the abuse that was always occasioned by these private complaints that do exist from time to time emanating from this Criminal Administration of Justice.
“So, it has to be cushioned, if you have a genuine case, then as a private person, the Attorney General will vet and see if your case is genuine before such a complaint is brought out to the public. That is the essence of the Bill”.
Reporting the progress at the ‘Committee of the Whole’, the Speaker, Mr. Uche Okafor who presided over the plenary said, “A remittal of the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2022, the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Honourable Douglas Egbuna has added section 3 to section 157, to the proposed amendment in the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2022.”
The speaker consequently asked colleagues, whether the presentation was a true reflection of what happened at the ‘Committee of the Whole’ and the lawmakers unanimously adopted the amended Bill for a Law through voice votes.
Also at plenary, the Speaker presented to the State Legislature for consideration and approval, two letters from Gov. Charles Soludo, on the forwarding of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework 2023-2025, which underpins 2023 Appropriation Bill that he intended to present to the State House of Assembly.
The second letter he presented to the House was dated 12th September, 2022: on the forwarding of Engr. Christian Ezeobiora as the new Transition Committee Chairman, Nnewi North, to replace the earlier screened Transition Committee Chairman, who is currently undergoing police investigation for alleged homicide.