In a continuous bid to ensure the effective implementation of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Law, 2021 (ACJL), the State Government has organised the first batch of workshop for Magistrates in Lagos on salient 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 familiarize and dissect the new provisions of ACJL with a view to effectively implement and build 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 ten (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 stressed that to further strengthen the justice system, Mr Governor assented to the ACJL(Amendment),2021 as well as address the issue of delay in the administration of criminal justice.
According to him, the workshop for the Magistrates is pivotal as they play a huge role in decongesting of the Correctional Facilities, being the major stakeholder before a suspect is remanded into custody. He noted 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, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, highlighted the various Amendments and innovations, which has set the pace for other States.
She 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 Community sentencing, 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, Director, Lagos State Community Service Unit, Ms. Shakirat Kotun amongst others.