The Lagos State Government is currently prosecuting 1,204 cases in various courts across the state, says the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye.
Speaking at the monthly interaction with newsmen in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Ipaye disclosed that there are 327 petitions before the ministry as at January, 2013. He added that the government has established a system whereby the office of the Attorney General must be notified of all persons remanded in custody while the Department of Public Prosecution’s, DPP’s advise was being awaited.
"This is a way of promoting the fairness of our criminal justice system. This will enable us prioritise their cases as against those defendants who have been granted bail. This will further ensure that people are not locked up for a long period of time awaiting criminal prosecution," he stated. Ipaye said in January, 2013, the legal advisory unit in the DPP’s office received 40 case files from the police and had issued 65 pieces of legal advise.
"In December 2012, we received 57 files and treated 97. This means that the unit can now cope with its monthly inflow as well as consistently reduce the backlog of files that it had in 2012. It also indicates that we will soon meet our target of ensuring that legal advice is issued within 30 days of receiving a complete report of investigation into any case," he added.
The Attorney General stated that residents of the state could be assured that the government would continue to provide assistance to the law enforcement agencies to ensure that crimes in the state were reduced to the barest minimum. He said government was committed to ensuring that law abiding citizens continued to live and work in a safe and secured environment.
He added that the state government was mindful of the need to create a safe and conducive atmosphere for productive activity, hence the close attention being given to environmental offences like refuse dumping, street trading and begging, among others."People who are in Lagos with legitimate accommodation and business or other engagements have nothing to fear, but we shall continue to round up and prosecute others who are out on illegitimate activities. I wish to mention the fact that abandoned vehicles and properties create a safe haven for criminals and criminal activities. Government can no longer tolerate this,"he added.