The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, has said the Federal Government is in the process of amending the Police Act which has been in existence since 1948.
According to Apata, the proposed amendment aims to bring the Police Act in consonance with current realities.
Apata made this disclosure on Wednesday in Lagos at the Conference of Network of Justice Reform Team.
The conference, which held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, was organised by the Federal Justice Sector Reform Co-ordinating Committee in partnership with the Lagos State Government, the British Council and the European Union through the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was represented on the occasion by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem.
While speaking at the conference, Apata said aside for the proposed amendment to the Police Act, the Federal Government was also in the process of implementing reforms designed to decongest prisons in the country.
“Aside the judicial reforms, presently, the Federal Ministry of Justice is also engaging in police reform.
“As of today, we are trying to work on the Police Act which we have been using since 1948 or thereabouts.
“Presently also, the ministry is working on the prison reform.
“The Honourbale Attorney General of the Federation has just constituted a working group that is looking at the prison reform in Nigeria headed by the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, who is equally passionate about the issue of prison decongestion.
“At the moment, the Federal Ministry of Justice is pioneering the trial of Boko Haram suspects who have been there for the last four to five years and we have already commenced their profiling,” Apata said.
Speaking through Kazeem, Ambode said his administration had laid a solid foundation for criminal investigation and raised the bar in the prosecution of crimes with its recently inaugurated DNA Forensic Centre.
The government said with the DNA forensic centre there was no longer a question of any criminal escaping justice on account of poor investigation.
“Our success as a government lies more in our continuous collaboration with stakeholders in the administration of justice to achieve our goals and realities of an efficient justice delivery system.
“It is in fulfillment of these promises that the first DNA Forensic Centre was opened to embrace a more scientific-led investigation technique and raising the bar of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ in prosecuting criminal cases.
“Our administration, to a large extent, has addressed the issues of delayed justice through the establishment of the Office of Public Defender, Citizens Mediation Centre and the innovative multi-door arbitration system of justice where numerous persons, regardless of gender, status, ethnic or religious grouping, are beneficiaries.
“We have continued to enhance the judicial process in the state in terms of improved welfare for judiciary and put in place state-of-the-art- infrastructures,” Ambode said.
The conference was attended by attorneys general of various states, lawmakers and many others.