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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Prison congestion: Lagos AG parleys Prison authorities, others




Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, has pledged the support of the state to the authorities of the Nigerian Prison Services in a bid to decongest the prisons.
Kazeem made the pledge yesterday during a visit to the Controller of Prisons, Lagos State, Vincent Ubi, at Alagbon, saying the state was committed to decongesting the prisons using the instrumentality of the law.
According to him, the prison ‘is very critical in the administration of justice in the state’ regardless of the fact it is a federal agency.
“As a federal agency, the Prison Services is a partner with Lagos State. It plays an important role in the administration of justice. It is so critical when there is so much crime and people are brought to prison for rehabilitation. I want to pledge the full cooperation of my administration and Ministry of Justice to support prison services. I will be there for you during my tenure,” Kazeem stated.
He disclosed that his ministry now has community service desk for the utilization of the public while stressing the importance of capturing the database of prisoners in order to monitor them.
In his response, the Prison Controller disclosed that prisons within the state have the highest number of inmates totaling 6,258 while 90 per cent of them are from the South West region.
“No other state has such number. When police arrest criminals, they take them to court and the court remands them in prison. So the bus-stop of national security is the prison,” Ubi said.
He urged the Lagos State Security Council to always involve officers of the Nigeria Prison Service in any decision concerning security in the state.
At the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), the Attorney-General promised to see to the welfare of the staff of the agency through provisions of working materials and personnel.
Earlier, OPD’s director, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, lamented the challenges facing the agency which included; funding, lack of enough laptops, manpower, delay in trials especially with domestic violence cases and shoddy investigation by police.
She added that the agency has handled and successfully completed 4, 008 cases within the year while 364 cases are still pending in court.

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