Nov 5, 2011 – Lagos Lawyers demand a review of Nigeria’s Criminal Code
Some lawyers in Lagos have called for the review of Nigeria’s Criminal Code to reflect current trends; dismissing the current version as old fashioned and archaic.
Jude Ogbodo, a lawyer, said that the criminal code were handed down to Nigeria by the British colonial administration and were over 100 years old.
According to him, the laws were made for Commonwealth countries, most of which have since amended theirs, while Nigeria remains stagnant.
“To run an effective criminal justice system, there has to be regard for changing development and the history of the people,” he said. “This should form the basis for the enactment of a country’s criminal laws. Most offences today are committed with impunity because there is knowledge of the never changing sanctions which range from fines to two-year imprisonment.”
Eni Olaniyan argued that no law should be static as it is meant to serve the interest of the public and not the other way round.
“The social circumstances of the past are different from the present,” he said. “There is growth in population and enlightenment, and upon this bedrock, laws cannot remain the same.”
According to Olaniyan, certain sections of the criminal law should be amended to reflect the present.