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Lagos Govt. records 10,266 offenders’ conviction from 2023 judicial report

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that a total number of 10,266 offenders convicted for various minor offences by the State Special Offences (Mobile) Court in 2023.

It said that the actions of the Court, which has speedup administration of justice, had been able to reduce criminal activities of miscreant in the state.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lawal Pedro, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen on the administration of justice across the state in the last one year.

Pedro disclosed that Office of the Public Defender (OPD) secured 230 judgements in favour of the state, just as the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) obtained 40 judgements, while the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) secured over 50 judgements.

“In the period under review, a total number of 230 judgements were obtained in favour of the State by OPD. This is in addition to receiving a total of 4,272 petitions and 1,788 court cases (family, industrial, civil, and criminal court cases) across seven of its office locations, including six outstation offices, and OPD headquarters, or through the courts,” he disclosed.

The Attorney General also revealed that the OPD handled 1,812 child-related cases, 316 domestic violence-related cases, and 29 rescue missions, adding that the agency further received a total of 1,988 cases via court and correctional centres (Criminal, Industrial, Civil, and Family related cases), out of which 448 had been successfully concluded, with the Office receiving the total sum of ₦59,326,549 on behalf of its clients and beneficiaries.

Pedro disclosed that the DPP obtained 40 judgements in courts and 11 Plea Bargains, with seven cases struck out and four others discharged in the last one year, adding that the Directorate received 377 files for legal advice, out of which it issued 229 advice, with 148 files pending.

The commissioner also said that 158 Plea Bargain applications were received by the Directorate, out of which 100 were approved, two declined and 56 pending.

More so, Pedro said the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights in the period under review received 755 petitions on family matters, 131 petitions on employee/employer matters and 744 tenancy matters, out of which 539 (family matters), 80 (employee/employer) and 577 (tenancy matters) were resolved respectively.

He said the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC) in the period under review received a total number of 35,655 matters for mediation, out of which 20,691 were treated and resolved, adding that 14,964 matters were undecided as a result of non-attendance of concerned parties at mediation sessions.

“Based on the agency’s guiding principles and core values that justice is delivered irrespective of status or socio-economic background, the agency received the sum of N183,721,134 on behalf of parties being the settlement of debt related matters,” he noted.

On the DSVA, the Attorney General revealed that the agency handled 4,641 adult domestic violence cases and 2,976 children cases, with 118 rape cases and rescued 64 people in the last one year, adding that the agency obtained over 50 judgements in courts, 36 restraining order, handled 652 social welfare cases, concluded mediation in 107 cases and reached over 800,000 people in the community through advocacy and sensitisation.

On landgrabbing, the Attorney General added that the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Landgrabbers in the period under review received 582 petitions out which 120 were concluded, saying that other notable achievements included 71 enforcement approvals and 33 inscription approvals.

He said to protect the right to possession and occupation of any property in Lagos State and guide against the use of force, the taskforce obtained nine judgments in favour of the state government, disclosing that there are currently 35 land grabbing cases in court.

Pedro further said during the period under review, the Lagos State Ministry of Justice spearheaded the expansion of the Lagos Criminal Information System (LCIS), significantly enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal justice administration.

He explained that this initiative involved the integration of advanced technology to create a comprehensive and accessible database of criminal records, stating that key features included real-time data entry, improved case tracking, and seamless information sharing among law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and the judiciary.

“The scaling up of LCIS aims to reduce case backlogs, ensure accurate and timely access to criminal records, and foster greater transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system. This strategic enhancement not only streamlines operations but also strengthens public trust and safety in Lagos. The LCIS has recorded a total of 62,117 cases/inmates between 2018 and May 9th, 2024,” he said.

In addition, Pedro said the Directorate of Civil Litigation responsible for representing the State in all civil matters involving the state government, its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) during the period under review, received a contingent liability in terms of Claims in Court to the tune of N1, 602, 430, 012, 517.71, explaining that this is in addition to the contingent liability in favour of the state government which has increased to N95, 644,801,659.71.

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