Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, yesterday, said existing penalties in Nigeria statues book for crimes such as rape,
kidnapping, drug addiction among others were too soft and sought immediate review to allow stringent penalties.
The governor, who made the call at the swearing in of Justice Aliyu Mayaki as the Chief Justice of the state in Minna, said the judiciary was already overdue for an aggressive reform to deal with the crimes.
Bello observed that a situation where criminals arrested and charged to court obtained bail within 48 hours based on the archaic laws was not good for Nigeria’s contemporary society.
He enjoined the judiciary and the legislative arms of government to work closely towards facilitating immediate amendment of such laws and consequently proffer lasting solutions to the increasing wave of insecurity confronting the country.
Bello urged the judiciary to engage the legislative arm, especially as it affected its budget estimates, to bring about efficiency in the administration of justice.
I also realise that for this programme to be effective, there is the need to implement full autonomy for the judiciary.
I hope we can implement this autonomy and I hope our income will increase so that we can give you a reasonable amount every month to renovate your courts,” he said.
Bello described the three arms of government as partners in progress and must, therefore, work together towards building a virile society.
The governor promised that his administration would continue to support the judiciary, especially in the areas of capacity building, renovation of courts, and judges welfare, adding that with what he had started, he hoped that the new chief judge would continue in the same direction.