In a significant move towards enhancing the justice system in Plateau State, the House of Assembly has successfully passed two important bills into law. The first bill establishes the Plateau State Law Reform Commission, while the second bill creates the Plateau State Mediation Centre.
The Deputy Speaker, Fom Gwottson, made this announcement on Sunday, as he revealed that both bills had been passed during separate plenary sessions on July 18, 2023, and July 25, 2023, respectively. The bills were presented to the House by the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Rt. Hon. Gwottson Dalyop Fom, who had diligently engaged relevant stakeholders in the Justice Sector, government institutions, civil society organizations, and concerned citizens during the formulation process.
The Plateau State Law Reform Commission is vested with a crucial responsibility, primarily to conduct comprehensive research and review all state laws and Local Government bye-laws. The aim is to ensure their continual development and reform in alignment with prevailing norms within the state, the nation, and the international community. This includes the codification of these laws and bye-laws, fostering a more coherent and just legal framework.
On the other hand, the newly established Plateau State Mediation Centre will play a key role in mediating between parties in various disputes, such as landlord and tenant matters, contracts of employment, family disputes, and debt-related issues. Additionally, the center will provide free legal services and advice, with particular attention to assisting the indigent citizens of the state.
Commenting on the passage of these landmark bills, the Plateau state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Philemon Daffi, emphasized their critical importance for the advancement of the state. He noted that with an inherited debt of N307 billion, the onus lies on the new administration to be proactive and creative in establishing platforms that attract resources to the Ministry of Justice from both within and beyond the state’s borders.
The approval of these bills marks a significant milestone for Plateau State, as it showcases the government’s commitment to reforming the legal landscape and providing accessible justice to its citizens. With the establishment of the Law Reform Commission and the Mediation Centre, the state is set to witness a more efficient and effective legal system that aligns with the needs and aspirations of its people.