The chief whip of the Nigerian Senate, Uzor Orji Kalu, who was recently released from prison, has proposed some amendments to the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) of 2015.
The bill entitled, ‘administration of criminal justice act 2015 (amendment) bill’, 2020 was introduced on Wednesday after Nelson Ayewoh, senate clerk, read its short title.
The details of the amendment bill have not been made public, but it would help in decongesting the prisons.
The former governor of Abia state was released from the Kuje Correctional Centre on June 2 after five months behind bars.
A federal high court in Lagos had in December convicted him of money laundering to the tune of N7.1 billion.
But on May 8, the supreme court nullified his conviction on the grounds that Mohammed Idris, the trial judge, did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter since he had been elevated to the court of appeal.
Mr. Kalu had bemoaned that over 70 percent of the population in prison are awaiting trial and sence after his release that “I shall be dedicating my time henceforth to ensuring there will be justice for all Nigerians whether they are in Sokoto or Akwa Ibom or in Lagos or Maiduguri or in Jos or Enugu, or wherever they may be,” he said in a statement in May.
“A system whereby over 70% of all prison inmates population is made up of people awaiting trial cannot be allowed to continue. Situations where innocent people are falsely charged with murder just to get them out of the way does not dignify our country and cannot continue.
“Justice must now mean justice for all. That is my pledge to Nigerians.”