In its continuous bid to ensure the effective implementation of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Law, 2021 (ACJL), the State Government, in collaboration with the British Council under the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (RoLAC), has organised a workshop for Magistrates in Lagos on the provisions in the amended ACJL Law.
Addressing participants at the workshop, the Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), noted that the workshop serves as a platform to familiarise and dissect the new provisions of ACJL with a view to effective implementation and building on the progress made so far in justice delivery.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, noted that ACJL was first passed in 2007 and amended in 2011 (more than 10 years ago) to ensure that the Fundamental Rights of suspects and persons that come into contact with the justice system, as enshrined in the Constitution, are protected.
He stated that Mr. Governor assented to the ACJL (Amendment) 2021 to address the issue of delay in the administration of criminal justice and further strengthen the justice system.
Onigbanjo said the workshop for Magistrates is pivotal as they play a huge role in decongesting correctional facilities, noting that Magistrate Courts handle about 65% of the criminal cases in the State and are responsible for handling minor offences summarily.
Noting the efforts of the State Government in the administration of criminal justice, he highlighted the various amendments and innovations by the present administration that set the pace for other States.
The Commissioner noted that in addition to the overview of the ACJL Law 2021, the workshop will also address the implementation of restorative justice and other non-custodial measures such as Community Sentencing and Plea Bargain amongst others.
Facilitators at the workshop include Hon. Justice Adenike Coker; Mr. Joseph Otteh, Founder Access to Justice; Director, Lagos Multidoor Court House, Mrs. Adeyinka Aroyewun and Director, Lagos State Community Service Unit, Ms. Shakirat Kotun.