A former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, has outlined reforms that should be embarked upon by the new Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi.
Outlining what he described as “pressing tasks” to be carried out “urgently” by the new AGF, Agbakoba said the duplication of efforts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other law enforcement agencies should be resolved.
“There is a need to unbundle EFCC and restrict them to investigation only while a new national prosecution agency ought to be established,” he said.
“Another key reform would be a completely decentralised police force at local, state and federal levels.
“Major revamp of our outdated laws is urgently needed to follow the Rwanda example that modified 1000 laws.
“Last but not least the AGF must work on the speed of justice. It’s a crying shame it takes upwards of 15 years to conclude cases from the high court to the Supreme Court.
“Finally but not exhausted is to create sector specific dispute resolution agencies to free up the utterly cluttered dockets of the regular courts.
“The other very important task before the attorney general will be the unnecessary and wholly inefficient matter of over centralisation of our superior courts.
“There is no better time than now to hack down the highly centralised court systems in Nigeria. The AGF is invited to consider major constitutional amendments to create a system of federal and state courts.
“State courts ought to have exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to them. This is also the case for federal courts whose jurisdiction must be limited to federal causes.
“This will free up the clutter at the Supreme Court and make it the policy court it ought to be in the first place.
“We have a brilliant AGF in Lateef Fagbemi SAN. I am convinced this will be a simple task for him. He is a very good colleague and I have the highest confidence in his abilities.”
Lateef Fagbemi was sworn in as the new attorney-general of the federation (AGF) on Monday.
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