The Lagos State Government on Friday said that it prosecuted 1, 536 criminal cases in all courts in the last one year through the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
Adeniji Kazeem, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, disclosed this during the ongoing press briefing to mark the one year anniversary of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration.
Mr. Kazeem said out of the total number of cases being prosecuted, judgments were delivered in 15 of the matters being handled by the Directorate.
He said out of the 1,536 cases, 1,375 cases are currently being prosecuted at the Federal and State High Courts as well as 122 and 38 respectively at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Mr. Kazeem said in addition to the 1,536 active criminal prosecution files, the DPP’s office was also handling 137 applications for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
“With regards to criminal prosecutions, our Directorate of Public Prosecutions is committed to ensuring that all offenders are brought to book, thereby discouraging impunity in our society,” said Mr. Kazeem.
“The Directorate is also committed to speedy trails, especially so that suspects are not detained for too long awaiting trial.
“The truism ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is one of our guiding principles, especially in criminal justice administration. Both the victims of a crime and the alleged offender deserve to have their case resolved at the earliest possible time.”
The Commissioner said the Legal Advisory Unit which focuses exclusively on the review of criminal case files, containing reports of investigation submitted by the Police and issuance of legal advice has hastened the speed of criminal prosecutions by reducing the time spent on issuing legal advice.
“In the period under review, out of 1,209 police investigation files sent to the DPP’s office for legal advice, the Unit has already completed work on 940 while the rest are still being processed, many requiring additional information or further investigation by the Police or other relevant agency.”
Mr. Kazeem said the government has always taken the lead in legislation and law reform initiatives just as he assured of the present administration’s commitment to continue ensuring that every citizens of Lagos State has access to justice.
He said the State Government in order to ensure that its laws are kept updated and readily accessible to the general public has completed a new compilation of the Lagos Laws, which includes all amendment and additions.
“In line with the direction of His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the 2015 Revised Laws of Lagos State are now accessible online to the general public, which provides access to all the Laws that have operated in the state since inception in 1967.
“The landmark achievement within the past one year are indicative of the people-oriented theme of the governor’s agenda, which includes establishment of mobile courts, access to justice, fight against domestic and sexual violence as enactment of laws that provided the springboard for improving and promoting socio-economic activities.”
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