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How Judiciary Can Help Tackle Insecurity – Osinbajo

The judiciary can help tackle insecurity by ensuring that perpetrators of crimes are swiftly brought to justice, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said.

He noted that the lawyers and the judiciary have been blamed for delaying criminal justice administration.

Osinbajo was reacting to a call by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) on President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy his full constitutional powers to end killings.

hey spoke at the opening of the 12th Annual Business Law Conference of the NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in Abuja.

The theme of the three-day event, which began on Wednesday, is: “Bringing down the barriers: The law as a vehicle for intra-African trade.”

Bemoaning increasing killings, especially in Plateau State, Mahmoud urged the Federal Government to bring the perpetrators to book.

He said: “It is not enough for the President to pay a visit to the affected communities. The President must use all constitutional powers at his disposal to bring these killings to an end.

“More importantly, we must ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are arrested and properly brought to justice.

“Unless that is achieved, democracy and its promise of prosperity for our people will be completely empty and meaningless,” Mahmoud said.

But, Osinbajo said fighting insecurity requires a joint effort, including the support of lawyers and the judiciary, in ensuring that justice is quickly meted out to those brought to trial.

“As professional elite, it is important for us to continue to support ways by which we can ensure that our security framework and our system of administration of justice are able to deliver.

“One of the charges that is laid at our doorstep frequently is the fact that our administration of justice system, which involves ourselves as a profession and the judiciary, are far too slow in holding people to account for anything – whether it is petty offences or corruption or even some of the security issues that we face.

“I think that one of the critical ways that we can contribute to making our society safer and better is by ensuring that our profession delivers in the promises we made to our people, one of which is that we will ensure swift justice,” he said.

On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, around which discussions in the conference centre, the Vice President said Nigeria has not signed it because consultations were still ongoing.

The AfCFTA is a trade agreement between 44 African Union member states with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single currency union.

Osinbajo said there are concerns that the country could become a dumping ground with its signing, adding that Nigeria was more interested in free movement of goods made in Africa.

He said: “Due to the prevalence of dumping on the continent and the potential for its escalation, one may argue that free trade in Africa may not necessarily be fair.

“Our vision for intra-Africa trade is for free movement of made-in-Africa goods – goods made by Africans using a significant proportion of African raw materials; not just free movement of goods.”

The AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21. Signing the Agreement does not yet establish the African Continental Free Trade Area. It will function as an umbrella to which protocols and annexes will be added.

Once all documents are concluded and ratified by 22 states, the free trade area will formally exist.

Negotiations will continue this year with Phase II, including Competition Policy, Investment and Intellectual Property Rights. A draft shall be submitted for the January 2020 AU Assembly.

Kenya and Ghana were the first countries to deposit the ratification instruments on May 10 after ratification through their parliaments.

Source: The Nation

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