The Lagos State Government has reassured awaiting trial inmates in the state of its commitment to provide them free legal representations.
The Director of Citizen’s Rights, Oluwatoyin Odusanya, said this on Tuesday during a visit to the correctional centres in the state.
Odusanya, who was represented by the Assistant Director of the agency, Yetunde Alowonle, and the chief state counsel, Adewunmi Odunaiya, during the visit noted that the quarterly visitations to the correctional centres as approved by the state Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), was geared towards free access to justice irrespective of gender, faith or social status.
She said, “The Ministry of Justice is manned by competent lawyers and scores of administrative and support staff who are adequately skilled to provide on-spot advice to awaiting trial inmates and we encourage you to take advantage of the benefits given by the state government in accessing justice irrespective of your status.
“The Lagos State Government is determined to decongest the correctional centres due to the high percentage of incarcerated individuals who are yet to be convicted through the prison watch services of the directorate.
The Assistant Controller in charge of Ikoyi correction centre, Dare Opadeji, noted that the periodic visits gave hope of freedom to the inmates.
The controller also appealed to the state government to intervene and provide legal representations to inmates charged with minor crimes but detained in the correctional centres due to lack of legal representations during their various hearings in court.