Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, through its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, yesterday, declared that the Nigerian Law Reform Commission is a dormant institution.
Chairman of the Committee, Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele and members, stated this during the screening of nominees into the Commission forwarded to the Senate for confirmation by President Muhamnadu Buhari.
Dormancy of the Commission, the Committee members alleged, is largely responsible for continued existence of obsolete laws in the nation’s Statue book .
Specifically, a member of the Committee, Peter Nwaoboshi said :“This Commission as the body constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of law reforms, ordinarily supposed to be visible but not visible at all.”
Another member of the committee, Ajibola Basiru, said for the Commission to have in its record, only seven attempts of law reforms between 2017 and 2020 shows that is dormant.
“The worrisome aspect of the dormancy are the existence of obsolete penalty clauses in our law books begging for review,” he said.
However, the nominee for the chairmanship position of the Commission, Professor Jummai Audi, said it has always been the wish of the Commission to carry out law reforms against obsolete laws but the extant Act regulating the activities of the Commission is more of stumbling block against such moves.
According to her, the extant act empowers only the Attorney General of the Federation for that purpose and no other person or body.
She added that the way out for the Commission to be vibrant as far as law reforms are concerned is for the ninth National Assembly to ensure the passage of a reform bill seeking to reform the Commission for better performance .
The bill, she explained, had passed through all the stages of legislation in the House of Representatives waiting for Senate concurrence.
The Committee Chairman in his closing remarks after the screening exercise assured her that the Senate would expedite action on the bill in getting it passed by the National Assembly.