Solicitors-General Review the Proposed National Policy on Prosecution

ABUJA, 21 JANUARY 2014. With support from the European Union (EU) funded "Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria" project implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Solicitors-General from the 36 states and the Federal Ministry of Justice gathered at a workshop in Abuja on 20 and 21 January 2014 to review the proposed National Policy on Prosecution, the Code of Conduct for Prosecutors and the Guidelines for Prosecutors in Nigeria.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Barrister Mohammed Bello Adoke, represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Justice Abdullahi Yola, declared the workshop open. He said, "The policy will help to streamline good practices and methods of the various prosecutors and prosecuting agencies. This will in no doubt lead to quality crime prosecution, increased efficiency, and effectiveness of the criminal justice administration, and above all transformation of the justice system."

In her keynote address to the participants, Ms Mariam Sissoko, UNODC Nigeria Country Representative, encouraged the states to adopt the documents as soon as they are ratified and pledged UNODC's support for state level implementation. "We hope that once the Policy, Code of Conduct and Guidelines are reviewed and eventually ratified, states will immediately adopt and implement them as essential tools to improve the administration of criminal justice. Under the project 'Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria', UNODC would be in a position to provide additional support to enhance the skills and capacity of prosecutors to implement them not only at the federal level but also in the 10 focal states that are direct beneficiaries of the project," she said. 

The Federal Justice Sector Reform Coordinating Committee (FJSRCC) initiated the development of the policy, the code of conduct, and guidelines to provide professional guidance for prosecutors and enhance effective and efficient administration of criminal justice in Nigeria. The initial draft was developed by FJSRCC in collaboration with the Directors of Public Prosecutions Forum and the National Association of Prosecutors.

Present in the workshop were representatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice, the EU, UNODC, Nigerian Bar Association, National Human Rights Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Justice for All project, civil society organizations, and the media.

The participants carried out a clause by clause review of the proposed policy, the code of conduct, and guidelines and made necessary amendments to simplify them and make them easy to interpret and implement. Following the review, the participants set up a committee to finalize the documents, which will be submitted to the Attorneys-General Forum for approval.

 

For further information contact:

James Ayodele

Tel: 234 701 683 9159, 234 802 976 8649

E-mail: james.ayodele@unodc.org