FG Turns Down Senate’s Bill To Create New Agencies
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has kicked against bills by the Senate to introduce two new agencies, with functions being performed by existing establishments.
Malami protested yesterday at a public hearing by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on four different bills.
They include Revised Laws of the Federation Bill, 2017 (SB. 391) sponsored by Senator David Umaru, and National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation (Establishment etc) Bill, sponsored by Senator Shehu Sani.
The AGF, represented by an Assistant Director from the ministry’s Legal Drafting Department, Mr. Patrick Eta Eyoh, said the intendment of the Bill on Revised Laws of the Federation, if allowed to sail through, would infract negatively on functions of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission.
He pointed out that Section 5 of the Commission’s Act was saddled with responsibilities of law revision which the new bill primarily seeks to achieve.
“This, to us, in the Justice ministry, is not necessary, to avoid creating an agency for functions already being carried out legally by an existing one,” he said.
The AGF explained that the Peace Commission Bill to establish the National Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution will carry out functions relating to Peace and Conflict Resolutions within Nigeria and Africa.
“Our take on these two bills is that they should be jettisoned since their intendments have already been taken care of by existing agencies legally put in place and if they are seen not to be carrying out their functions efficiently and effectively, we are not against the National Assembly by way of legislation, strengthening their capacities to function better,” he said.
Malami, however, supported the two other bills – Emergency Powers Act, sponsored by Senator John Owan Enoh (APC Cross River Central) and Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2017) sponsored by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo Central).