The Lagos State judiciary has held a training programme for magistrates in the state to strengthen the coroner system, ADEBISI ONANUGA reports
About 161 Magistrates from the five judicial divisions in Lagos State have undergone training as part of efforts to equip and strengthen their knowledge of the Coroner System Law of Lagos State, particularly in crime and culpability detection in cases involving death.
The two-day programme which was intended to deepen the knowledge of the legal officers in the state judiciary on coroner method of inquiry, held at the Judiciary Institute, GRA, Ikeja.
The duty of a coroner is to make inquest, investigate or findings about sudden, violent, suspicious or unnatural deaths and determine the circumstances leading to a death as provided for under Coroner System law of Lagos State 2019.
Addressing the magistrates, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba said the coroner court plays a very special role in the chain of legal officers determining causes of questionable deaths using the method of inquiry.
Justice Alogba described the coroner system as a chain linking all relevant stakeholders in an investigation process together, from the police, medical and to court for final dispensation of Justice.
He said that the management of crime scene is a crucial area to look into during the training because “if the scene of an incident is not well managed, it can affect the accuracy of the outcome of a coroner investigation.”
The Chief Judge who reiterated his support for the Coroner’s System in the state also maintained that the importance of Coroner cannot be overemphasised considering its usefulness and accuracy during investigations.
He said: “For instance, when death occur in questionable circumstances, because of failure or none existence of cause of death, it becomes difficult to pinpoint who committed the crime without a proper and effective Coroner System.”
In her welcome address, the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Justice Mojisola Dada said that a well-developed coroner system will be a key factor in aid of good governance in Lagos State.
She further said that Coroner’s Court has a significant role to play in addressing lapses in the system which result in deaths.
“The reports of coroner’s contain in-depth analyses of the cause of death as well as recommendations so that the government would be armed with useful information to enable it improve upon its regulations and the law and formulate relevant policies or work better at their implementations in a bid to reduce the occurrence,” the judge said.
She added that the main purpose of the Coroner System is to promote the culture of accountability and thus enforcing citizens fundamental rights and improving the Criminal Justice Administration System.