The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, has said Nigeria may need to declare a state of emergency over the obsolete nature of its laws as part of measures to address the problems.
The lawmaker, who represents Osun Central Senatorial District, on Wednesday night said many laws had not been updated for as long as three decades.
Basiru spoke while featuring on a social media live show: Politics Everywhere With SOK, a weekly online interview show.
A statement by Proumou Media Consulting, the firm powering and promoting the weekly Live show, quoted the Chairman of the Senate committee on Media and Public Affairs as saying that many of the laws have become what he called “dead letters”.
He said: “It tells us that largely we need to declare a state of emergency on the laws of Nigeria.
“Most of our laws have become what they call dead letters because they are no longer useful.”
Incidentally, Basiru said he had been part of a screening programme on Wednesday of members of the Nigerian Law Reforms Commission.
He explained further: “We know that by Section 5 of the Nigerian Law Reforms Commission Law, the commission is saddled with ensuring dynamic amendment of the our laws.
“But largely because of funding, and may be lack of commitment to it, the commission has been largely in limbo.”
He disclosed that the situation is so bad that “between 2017 and 2020, they said they have worked only on seven laws.”
He explained that an indication of the obsolete state of the laws is the fact that “when you look at our penalty fees, six month imprisonment is still equivalent to N200 or N100 in our law.”
Basiru insisted: “So, you would agree with me that we need to declare a state of emergency in terms of our laws.
“But then, you see there has to be a relationship between the executive and the legislature.
“I want to enjoin the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Law Reform Commission and particularly the executive to take the issue of some of our laws reform very serious.”