***Revs Up Legal Representation For Inmates
The Lagos State Government issued a total of 313 Legal Advice through the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) out of a total of 320 police duplicate files received in the last three months, a quarterly report of Lagos Criminal Information System (LCIS) has revealed.
The LCIS, which serves as the databank of all prison inmates in the State and administered through the office of the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in the report of activities between June and September 2018, also indicates that the five federal prisons in the State were overstretched with about 5,000 inmates.
In a statement by Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, SAN, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, “The Lagos State Ministry of Justice Directorate of Public Prosecution received a total of 320 police duplicate case files and advice has been issued for 313 representing 97 per cent, while seven out of the total number of cases received are pending representing three per cent.”
A breakdown of the report shows that 56 miscellaneous cases (stealing related offences), 95 sexual related offences, 79 robbery cases, 48 fatal motor accident, and 35 homicide cases were received in the period under review.
The report further revealed that out of the 4,087 capacity of the five federal prisons in the State, actual prison open out was 9,303, while the total inmates enrolled on the LCIS system with complete records including biometrics and photographs as at September 30, 2018 was 12,439.
“In the period under review, reports indicate that the Federal Prison facilities in Lagos State are overstretched, while the State Government through the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy and the Judiciary are working with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to get list of inmates with minor offences for possible consideration,” the LCIS reports said.
Also in the report, there are 48 inmates with minor offences who are in the awaiting trial list for three years and above, as well as 72 juvenile inmates out of which 15 are in the age bracket of 0 to 14 years, and 57 in the age bracket of 15 to 17 years.
With respect to inmates charged for domestic and sexual offences, the report revealed that the top three offences in this category were those of defilement representing 57 per cent, sodomy (22 per cent), and rape (18 per cent)
“There has been improvement of Legal Representation of inmates facing trial. In the last quarter report, 82 per cent of the inmates facing trial did not have Legal Representation, while in this quarter, that percentage has reduced to 43 per cent,” the report revealed. Copies of LCIS report is available for members of the public at the Justice Ministry, free of charge.