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How Nasarawa Attorney-General, Kana is championing reforms in judicial sector for efficient administration of Justice

How Nasarawa Attorney-General, Kana is championing reforms in judicial sector for efficient administration of Justice

By Anthony Adgidzi,


Amidst the daunting challenges confronting justice administration, the Nasarawa State Ministry of Justice has come up with aggressive measures and reforms to ensure the masses have access to justice and efficiency in the administration of Justice in the state. Judiciary

One of the measures taken is the rebranding of the laws inherited from Plateau State, which have over stayed their usefulness and required amendments, while other laws had their names changed to match the current realities so as not to end up with antiquated legislation that is no longer effective in the state.      

The pace at which the state ministry of Justice is moving, especially in administering justice to all manner of people, under the watch of Assoc. Prof. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana certainly proved and Justified his appointment as the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in the state.

Assoc. Prof. Kana who held-sway as the state Attorney-General from 2018 to date, that is from the administration of Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, set motions in place with a lot of speed to get the state out of the numerous cases that could have crippled Nasarawa State financially.

It is important to note that, in the history of Nasarawa State, Assoc. Prof. Kana reckoned to be the most outstanding longest serving Attorney-General the state had ever had. His logical approach and knowledge to legal issue has not only earned the state many times victory, but has saved it from total collapse and ridicule, considering the billions of naira involved in cases against the state.

Within the period under review, Assoc. Prof Kana initiated some legal reforms and adopted global best practices of law that today placed Nasarawa state in the edge against it contemporaries. In addition to this, Kana led a team of management members of the state Ministry of Justice on a 4-day working visit to Lagos State Ministry of Justice and to some prominent law firms in Lagos, where they replicated the experiences, knowledge and practices in the state.

The ministry being the arrow head of public governance is saddled with the responsibility of checkmating every public institutions and sectors to avoid legal brouhaha, arising from breach of contractual agreements.

It is imperative to state that, the chamber of the state Attorney-General under the led counsel of Assoc. Prof. Kana was able to avert legal tussles and secure victories for the state at both the lower, Appeal and Supreme Courts on some major cases that would have spelled doomed for the state. In the wisdom of the Assoc. Prof. Kana, some of the cases against the state are been negotiated-on on certain terms in favour of the state in principle to avoid financial lost.

There is no gains stating the fact that the appointment of Assoc. Prof. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana to head the Justice sector from 2018 to date is a huge blessing to the state and its citizens, considering the number of reforms and initiatives he has introduced. This explains why the ministry of justice is not relenting in ensuring that all the strategic plans for the year 2020 to 2023 of the ministry, which was approved by the Executive Governor of the state, Engr. Abdullahi Sule and the ministry’s annual plan for 2021 was strictly followed.

In spite the obvious global pandemic that almost grounded activities in 2020, of which Nasarawa State was not exempted, the ministry of Justice stood out towards attaining it objectives and strategic plan against all odds.

As at today, due to the reforms initiated by the Attorney General, there is no department, units and staff that is redundant, as all heads of departments and units were tasked to follow the ministry’s template logically. Aside from the ministry’s headquarters in Lafia that has undergone renovation, which now wear a new look; Karu, Keffi Nasarawa and Akwanga area offices are not left out in the reforms. In fact, the chamber of the Attorney-General is second to known, when it comes to befitting and conducive working environment.

The state ministry of justice has about 42 state counsels, who are handy to assisting the Attorney-General to decongest the chunk of cases against the state, preparing bills and laws that makes governance in the state more effective and efficient, through legislative processes and backing.

It is worrisome to know that, the cases against the state government keep growing every day, simply because, people sees government as the biggest venture and a target to dupe government through litigations in spite failure to meet up with contractual specifications.

At the moment, in the whole, there are about 3000 criminal, civil and revenue cases spread across the 143 courts in the state, some of which are for the state while others are against the state government.

Being the planetary defender of the state, the ministry of justice in the other hand is working assiduously, where possible to avert some of those cases capable of grounding the state     

Apparently, one obvious fact that remains a challenge, hindering the efficiency of criminal justice system is the multiple defective laws, poor infrastructure as well as religion, cultural, environmental and social factors among others that is affecting justice administration in the state, which Assoc. Prof. Kana and his team of lawyers in the state are trying to correct.

In the efforts to get things right, the state ministry of Justice is closely working with the judicial arm, and with the support of the state House of Assembly to fix the problems confronting the system as well as to amends laws and sections that are so difficult to be implemented, and by the time the aforementioned issues are addressed, it would ensure easy access to justice and efficiency in the administration of Justice in the state.

However, within the period under review, the state government through the doggedness of the Attorney-General implemented the Harmonization Law 2015 for state law officers, which caters for the wellbeing and welfare of lawyers serving with the state, and has ensure all entitlement of state counsel are met with no delay.

In addition to this, State government through the ministry of Justice has organized training and workshops for all the state counsels in the state to keep abreast with the modern legal system and global best practices in case management and effective administration of criminal in the new normal and the use of ICT in legislative drafting among others.

The stance of the ministry and or rather, the state government on the perpetrators of violence acts against women, children and minor in particular is such that anyone found guilty of sexual abuse and child molestation would face life imprisonment, hence the domestication of the Child Rights Law of 2005 by Engr. Abdullahi Sule  in 2020.    

By and large, the ministry of justice is not only instrumental in providing enabling laws that ensures all memorandum of understanding meets the desired objectives of the state as encapsulated in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy, playing supervisory role.