Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Monday held a public hearing on the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2017, saying that it was always guided by due legislative process in the passage of private and executive bills on the floor of the Assembly.
Peter Akpe, leader of the Assembly, gave the clarification while speaking during the public hearing in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Tonye Isenah sponsored the bill.
Akpe’s defence came on the heels of criticisms by some stakeholders that the Assembly does not usually hold public hearings before passing critical bills into law.
He told stakeholders at the public hearing that 80 per cent of the bills considered and passed by the Assembly used to undergo proper lawmaking processes with input of critical stakeholders.
According to him, the present leadership of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly had always insisted on adherence to legislative principles and processes in the bills passed.
Among the stakeholders that presented memoranda during the public hearing were the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Nigerian Prison Service (NPS).
They variously lauded the Assembly for its new approach to lawmaking in the state.
Kemasuode Wodu, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, commended the sponsor of the bill and the Assembly leadership, stressing that the initiative indicated that the three arms of government were working together for better administration of justice.
He disclosed that the justice ministry under his supervision had conducted series of reviews of the administration and domestication of criminal laws in the state.
Wodu said a document had been put together with recommendations, noting that “both legislature and executive are working together for good governance.”