The Plateau State Executive Council has approved a draft bill seeking to give women the right to stand as sureties to criminal suspects seeking bail from Police custody.
Chris Ahmadu, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Jos, while briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Simon Lalong.
Ahmadu said: “Over the years, women have not been allowed to stand as sureties when Police make arrest.
“When the bill become law, women will have the right to stand as sureties like their male counterpart.”
Ahmadu said the bill was a “revolutionary piece of legislation meant to govern the procedures of courts in the state as regards criminal trials”.
He said: “The opinion of the council is that this piece of legislation is long overdue; it is our hope that it will speed up the trial of criminal cases.”
He said the council also endorsed the abolition of “stay of proceedings” when there are interlocutory appeals.
According to the commissioner, the abolition of “stay of proceedings” will save time and ensure speedy completion of trials.
Ahmadu said: “The measure will, above all, bring about efficiency in the administration of justice.
“It is a legislation that all have been waiting for.
“The legislation will help judges, lawyers and accused persons because, as they say, justice delayed is justice denied.”
He stated that the council deliberated on a provision for the setting up of criminal record registry where vital information of accused persons would be kept.
Ahmadu added that a forensic laboratory would also be set up to aid investigation.
“The bill will be forwarded to the State House of Assembly for further legislation and passage,” he said.
Another issue discussed at the executive council meeting was the recent fire incident at the Jos Main Market, where 102 makeshift shops where burnt.
According to Usman Idi, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, the state government has set up a committee to assess the extend of damage and the cost of rebuilding the market.