Compliance With Criminal Justice Laws Will Decongest Prisons – Oyo CJ
The chief judge of Oyo state, Justice Munta Abimbola yesterday charge law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities involved in the administration of criminal justice to ensure compliance with the provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
Delivering a key note address at the stakeholders workshop on the “Effective Implementation of the Community Service Punishment Laws of Oyo State 2017 and Administration of Criminal Law” in Ibadan, the CJ noted the various positive impacts the passage will have on the state to include, promotion of efficient management of criminal justice institution; speedy dispensation of justice, protection of society from crime as well as the protection of rights and interest of the suspects, defendants and even victims.
According to the CJ, if enforced judiciously, it will help stem the tide of numerous adjournments as requested for by counsels.
It would be recalled that two laws on criminal justice and community service law were recently signed into law by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The two laws were aimed at ensuring speedy administration of justice and decongestion of the prisons.
“The compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) will no doubt help in the promotion of efficient management of criminal justice institution; speedy dispensation of justice; protection of society from crime as well as the protection of the rights and interest of the suspects, defendants and even victims.
“In my view, the law if enforced shall have effect on not only the trial process but quicken same as it will limit the numbers of adjournments a counsel can request for which is only five adjournments and in capital offences 180 days if not, the trial shall be granted bail and adjournment must not be more than 14 days,” the number one law officer added.
Meanwhile, the Oyo state government has urged the Nigeria Police and judiciary officers in the state to ensure proper implementation of the laws.
In his remarks, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola advocated effective implementation of the laws in a bid to ensure that convicts of minor offences are not sentenced to prisons where they may become hardened criminals.
Abimbola said the judiciary must be ready to fashion out an implementation strategy with internal process management structures to monitor compliance and results.
His words: “These two critical pieces of legislation were initiated to ensure that all arms of government and services to the people of Oyo state benefit from restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“These two laws will afford courts in the state the opportunity to sentence convicts of minor offences to hour of community service under thorough supervision, instead of going to prison where they might become hardened criminals.
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