There were 95 sexual-related offences treated by the Lagos State Government out of 313 legal advice issued through the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution in the last three months, a quarterly report by the Lagos Criminal Information System has shown.
The LCIS serves as the data bank of all prison inmates in the state and is administered through the office of the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
Adeniji Kazeem, the attorney-general of the state and commissioner for justice, said in a statement Wednesday that the report, which covered activities between June and September 2018, indicated that the five federal prisons in the state were overstretched with about 5,000 inmates.
“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 percent,” said Mr Kazeem.
A breakdown of the report showed that 56 miscellaneous cases (stealing related offences), 79 robbery cases, 48 fatal motor accident, and 35 homicide cases were received in the period under review.
With respect to prison inmates charged for domestic and sexual offences, the report revealed that the top three offences were those of defilement (57 per cent), sodomy (22 per cent), and rape (18 per cent).
“There has been improvement of legal representation of inmates facing trial,” the statement quoted the report as saying.
“In the last quarter report, 82 percent of the inmates facing trial did not have legal representation, while in this quarter, that percentage has reduced to 43 percent.”
Mr Kazeem, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said copies of the LCIS report are available for members of the public at the Justice Ministry, free of charge.
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 report 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.