17 August 2020 by VICTORIA ABAH
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the proposed consolidated sentencing guidelines will
ensure that congestion in prisons is reduced to the barest minimum through the use of non-custodial sentences.
Malami, stated this at the Virtual
Interactive session of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reforms and Decongestion with stakeholders to review the Federal Capital Territory’s Court Sentencing Guidelines and Practice Direction 2020.
According to him, the guideline is geared towards implementing one of the major recommendations of the National Workshop on the Effective Implementation of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019.
The AGF explained that, the move would set out appropriate guidelines for sentencing process in offences against the state, a person, public order, morality, homicide, property and corruption and ensure uniformity and fairness in sentencing in the Federal Capital Territory.
He also said the new guidelines would set out requirements and procedure for imposing custodial and non-custodial sentences to prevent abuse and ensure uniformity and fairness in the imposition of sentences.
The Chairman of the Presidential Committee, Justice Ishaq Bello, who is also the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court in his welcome address, said the introduction of non-custodial sentences by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was one of the main innovations of the new Act which was aimed at addressing the problem of congestion in correctional facilities in the country.
He however noted that the review was imperative to address the existing gaps, relating to non-custodial sentencing and to ensure fairness, consistency and uniformity in imposition of both custodial and non-custodial sentences.