The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on Monday, kicked against moves by the Senate to create two new agencies with functions already being performed by existing government establishments.
Literally, it means the AGF rejected the bills making provisions for them.
The bills are for the Revised Laws of the Federation Bill, 2017 (SB. 391) sponsored by Senator David Umaru who is the chairman of the committee and the one on National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation (Establishment etc) Bill, 2017, sponsored by Senator Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna central).
Speaking at the at the public hearing held by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on four different bills, Malami said that 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, however, supported the two other bills, the one seeking for Emergency Powers Act, sponsored by Senator John Owan Enoh (PDP Cross River central) and Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment Bill, 2017) sponsored by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo central).
The Attorney-General, who spoke through an assistant director from Legal Drafting Department in the Ministry, Mr Patrick Eta Eyoh, said Section 5 of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission Act saddles the commission with responsibilities of law revision exercise which the new bill primarily seeks to achieve.
He added: “This to us in the justice ministry is not necessary so as to avoid creating an agency for functions already being carried out by an existing one legally.”
Speaking further, AGF hinged his rejection of the Bill on National Commission for Peace, Reconciliation (Establishment) 2017 on the fact that the National Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution was in place to carry out functions relating to peace and conflict resolutions within Nigeria and Africa.
He said: “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.
‘’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.”
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in his welcome address, tasked the stakeholders at the public hearing to help the Senate committee in coming up with robust legislative work on all the bills through quality contributions.