Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Friday signed four laws aimed at enhancing good governance in the state
The laws are: the Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission (re-enactment law 2021), Food Security law, the State Criminal Law 2021 and the Ekiti State Victim Charter Law.
At the event that was also attended by the deputy governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, members of the State Executive Council and House of Assembly, the governor explained that the Ekiti State Criminal Law was a combination of the three-year review of the Criminal Code Law.
He noted that one of the main tasks he assigned to the Ministry of Justice immediately he came to office was to undertake a holistic review of the criminal laws of the state with a view to achieving a law that is current, relevant and responsive to the citizens’ concerns about crime and safety.
He stated that Ekiti State can now take its rightful place as one of those states in Nigeria with modern criminal law, noting that criminal justice system traditionally appears to focus exclusively on the offender while the responsibility of the victim is only to give evidence, which he said was unfair and undesirable.
The governor said he believed that victims of crime must be seen as important stakeholders in the criminal justice system by being constantly engaged throughout the prosecution process, including ensuring that their voices are heard in matters relating to sentencing, plea bargain and where state pardon is being considered.
“I specifically directed the Ministry of Justice to propose a legal framework that responds to citizens’ concern about the spate of sexual violence against women and girls.
“I’m happy to know that Ekiti State Criminal Law now provides the legal framework for our ‘Name and Shame’ sex offenders policy by providing for the registrar of sex offenders and, more importantly, by ensuring that victims of sexual violence are not subjected to double victimization by the criminal justice system.” he explained.
Dr Fayemi also explained that the House of Assembly Service Commission Law would ensure improvement in service delivery of the staff of the assembly such as structure of staff promotion, discipline, training and capacity building to serve the state in promoting good governance.
He added that the bill was made to strengthen the structure of the commission for a better service delivery in promoting the vision of the state government and catering for the needs of the citizens.
On the new law on food security, the governor stressed the need to support the agricultural sector and improve food security by ensuring that government participates fully to bring about food sufficiency in the state.
“The law will achieve the twin purposes of improving health and income for the people as well as increasing the Internally Generated Revenue of the state,” he said.
He said further that the objective of the law is to ensure food security in Ekiti State and to create farm settlements where agriculture produce can be planted such as cocoa, palm trees, cashew, coconut and any other crops suitable on Ekiti land to boost the IGR and to encourage agricultural enterprise.
He commended the legislators for their cooperation on the speedy amendment and passage of the laws as well as living up to their constitutional responsibilities of legislation, representation, appropriation and oversight.
While presenting the bills to the governor, the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, explained that the bills being assented to addressed critical areas of governance in the state with the aim of translating the policy initiatives of the administration into enduring legacies.