…Says his contribution to Criminal Justice Reforms laudable
The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) has commended the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Mr Onofiok Luke, for his contribution in the House of Representatives towards criminal justice reforms in Nigeria.
The President of CSLS, Professor Yemi Akinseye George, SAN, in his welcome remark at the organisation’s consultative meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, said that Mr Luke through his Bills sponsored in the House of Representatives has made a significant effort to improve the criminal justice system.
“The third purpose of the workshop is to give special recognition to a member of the legal profession in the National Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke, member House of Representatives (Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency) for his proactive legislative work and unrelenting advocacy in the House for the reform of criminal justice administration in the country”, Akinseye said.
Luke who was represented by his Legal Aide, Mr Toyo Jimmy, said that he was honoured to receive the award and committed to partnering with CSLS to achieve the goal of reforming the criminal justice system.
Luke congratulated and commended the Centre for their advocacy and commitment towards deepening democracy, social change and justice administration in Nigeria particularly in areas of criminal justice reform, electoral reform and legislative drafting and advocacy. Luke noted that ‘the Centre’s commitment is paying off and has resulted in the passage of the Evidence Act, 2011 and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, into laws – two pieces of legislation that have shaped judicial stratosphere and have changed and refined the workings and operations of justice administration.’
Commenting on the pull for his legislative engagements, Luke stated, “I have great interest in ensuring that our justice system delivers justice expeditiously and effectively but fairly, and grants our people easy access to justice; an impartial electoral system that produces leaders reflective of the electoral decisions of the ordinary Nigerians; and a legislature that is attuned to, and legislate for, the developmental needs of the people.”
Luke sought for partnership between the Centre and the Judiciary Committee for great results.
”Our justice system is beset by various challenges: the slow pace of justice delivery, disobedience to court orders, non-digitization of the court system, etc. The delay in justice delivery necessitated my introduction of constitutional alteration to set a time frame within which all matters, civil and criminal, will be determined by the court. The ACJA is suffering setbacks and yet to fully meet its objectives despite the good work done by the Centre. The Judiciary Committee is ready to render to the Centre any support it may need in repositioning the Act and in any other socio-legal issues”, Luke added.
He thanked CSLS for recognising his little contributions towards justice reforms and promised not to relent in his efforts.
The consultative meeting was Chaired by Prof. Peter Akper SAN, Director of Research National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies had in attendance Prof. Adedeji Adekunle SAN, Chris Umar, Solicitor- General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Kaduna State, Enenche Eleojo Special Assistant to the Honourable Chief Judge of the FCT and stakeholders drawn from different sectors of the Judiciary.