The House of Representatives Thursday skilled presentation a bill to amend the constitution to place a limit on the number of days for the trial of a case.
The bill, sponsored by Luke Onofiok, seeks to amend the constitution with the intent to place a limit a case could last during the trial.
The bill seeks to amend section 287 of the 1999 constitution.
Leading the talk on the motion,
Onofiok said that election petition cases are going to be exempted from the new proposed law.
He noted that the bill will “help to decongest our correctional centers.” Adding that “We the politicians benefited from legislation that helped to scale back the number of days for election cases should do the needful for the people.”
Also supporting the bill, the Chief Whip of the House, Mohammed Monguno, explained that the intent of the bill is different from the Criminal and Administrative Justice Act.
Opposing the bill, Uzoma Abonta advised the House to step down the bill, arguing that while the bill can cure mischief, it’ll cause another.
He noted that putting a limit on a criminal case could lead to criminals escaping justice.
About noted there’s a requirement to extend courts to form such an amendment.
“My fear is that to understand this, we’ll need other radical changes. If we are saying every criminal matter must be settled within 9months, what are we getting to do if the case isn’t settled?
“If we allow this to pass without fixing place other things, we’ll set criminals free.”
Also opposing the bill, Shabba Ibrahim said that the bill will conflict with Section 36 of the 1999 constitution.
“There may be a need for balance between this amendment and hearing. an inexpensive time must be determined by peculiarity of cases,” he said.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the problems are going to be sorted out at the committee level.