Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice
Abubakar Malami, SAN, Minister of Justice

Malami Sets Up Nigerian Law Reform Commission

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has called on the newly inaugurated members of the 9th Commission of the Nigerian Law Reform to be guided by the rules and regulations as provided by the Section 2 & 8 (1) of the Act.

Malami made the call while inaugurating Commissioners of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC) chaired by Professor Jummai A.M Audi in Abuja on Thursday 10th September, 2020.

The Minister asked them to ensure that all the rules and regulations relating to management of the human, material and financial resources of the Commission are adhered to in accordance to the objectives of the Federal Government, as contained in Section 8(1) (c) of the Act.

He added that, ‘’It is uniformly agreed that law as an instrument of social engineering always served as the instrumentality of meaningful reform in any civilized society’’.
While highlighting some of the functions of the commission, Malami said the commission should generally take and keep under review all Federal Laws with a view to their systematic and progressive development and reform in consonance with the prevailing norms of the Nigerian Society; the commission is mandated under section5(2) (a) and (b) of the Act to receive and consider proposals for reform that may  be referred to it by Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Also the Commission may also provide expert advice and information to Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the National Assembly or other bodies with regard to proposals for the reform or amendment of laws, and amongst others.

The Attorney-General expressed appreciation towards the efforts and determination of the Commission in achieving its mandate through the delivery of quality Law Reform to strengthen governance of the nation and for aligning itself with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging them to give selfless service to the nation.
He noted that the Nigerian Law Reform Commission was established in July 1979 by the Nigerian Law Reform Act, Cap. N118, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Earlier in his remarks, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary SGF/PS  Dayo Apata (SAN), said that the Commission has a great role to play to remove all obsolete laws and come out with a global best practices.

He explained that on the 19th December, the HAGF wrote to the President requesting for review of the eminence scholars, lawyers in the Commission while on the 9th June, the Senate also gave the approval for the inauguration of the eminence scholars as members of the Board.

The newly appointed Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Jummai Audi in her remarks said the surge in demand for reform of laws attest not only to the abiding relevance of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission but also its ultimate mandate and through the reform of laws.

Audi also said, ‘’in order to meet this growing demand and expectations, the Commission finds it imperative to reform itself through the legal instrument that created it. Consequently, the Commission has proposed the Nigerian Law Reform Act (Amendment) Bill which is before the National Assembly for Concurrence.

She explained that the Amendment Bill contains new provisions that if passed into law will re-position the Commission under the Ministry of Justice for more effective delivery of quality law reform and create a more formidable synergy with other relevant sectors in the society.

‘’The Commission is not dormant as people may think, it has produced many Reform Reports which are heavily consulted and relied upon by other Legal Stakeholders without the HAGF’S Permission”, she maintained.

The Chairman explained that the Commission is currently at the concluding stage of Law Revision Project before the COVI-19 pandemic and hopes to finalise the Draft Revised Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2018 for presentation to the Minister.

She furthers explained that the goal of the project is to provide updated Laws of the Federation of Nigeria for easy access to justice.

She expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding them worthy of the appointment. She commended the generous encouragement by the Minister and the necessary support to the Commission in all the Law Revision Projects.

Giving Vote of thanks, Commissioner Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia expressed profound gratitude to God Almighty for making the inauguration a great success. He thanked the HAGF, SG/PS and other members of Ministry for their contribution towards ensuring that the Commission meets its mandate in the Law Reform.

The newly inaugurated Commissioners were
Prof. Jummai A. M. Audi                      –           Chairman
Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia                        –          Commissioner
Hon. Muhammad B. O. Ibraheem       –           Commissioner
Dr. Muhammad M. Aminu                   –           Secretary, NLRC

 
Modupe Ogundoro

Deputy Director