The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Opeyemi Oke, on Wednesday inaugurated a criminal justice sector committee to promote greater cooperation among major stakeholders towards a speedy delivery of Criminal Justice in the state.
The committee comprising stakeholders in the judiciary, Nigerian Police Force, Ministry of Justice, law enforcement agencies, and the Nigerian prison authorities would meet quarterly to review findings and recommendations from several smaller sub committees that are expected to meet monthly to deliberate on their various agendas.
“I understand the committee has finalised the sentencing guidelines which will be signed today as practice directions for use by all courts in the state,” Mrs. Oke said.
“The guidelines will facilitate uniformity, equity and objectivity in sentencing in Lagos State.”
The move came two days after the Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee, set up by the National Judicial Council, met with 11 judges handling corruption cases at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
According to Mrs. Oke, the administration of criminal justice system cannot be achieved without the collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly members of the committee.
“Let me also inform you that a committee has been set up to proffer practice directions for the use of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State for the purpose of making the law more explicit for judges, magistrates, and the prosecutors,” she continued.
“The committee is enjoined to, in addition to interventions already in the pipeline, to evaluate initiatives such as adopting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism in criminal trials, increased use of plea bargaining to drastically reduce the number of inmates awaiting trial, front loading of evidence and restorative justice.
“Each and every stakeholder here represented is critical to the achievement of a robust, efficient, and responsive criminal justice sector founded on integrity and upholding the rule of law.”