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Ogun State Government says it has stepped up efforts at ensuring decongestion of prisons by adopting Plea Bargain.
The government added that this development is for the speedy dispensation of justice and protection of fundamental human rights.
The Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Bamidele Adebayo, said this while speaking in Abeokuta at a seminar organised for Law Officers, to mark the annual Law Officers’ Week.
He said plea bargain saves time and resources rather than going through the whole gamut of trial.
The Permanent Secretary noted that it was imperative to have an in-depth discussion on ways and measures to go about Plea Bargain, saying it had been in existence for a long time but hardly practised.
He added that “Plea Bargain is part of the law in the State and officers are being sensitised on the guidelines and process of its implementation. However, Plea Bargain within the Nigerian legal system is crucial to the bar and bench, to reduce prison congestion and encourage speedy trial’’.
The guest lecturer, Mr. Akeem Bello stated that Plea Bargain had been incorporated into the legal system of Ogun State, while the Office of the Attorney-General had introduced guidelines to implement it, adding that it was an opportunity for the court which was the key stakeholder in the administration of justice and prosecutor to improve on justice dispensation.
Mr. Bello said there were many cases to be handled by the Ministry’s Public Prosecution Office and the court, to allow cases to be managed effectively.
In her opening remarks, the Chairman, Law Officers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, Mrs. Oluwakemi Dankuwo said the Week was to ruminate over their performances with a view to building vibrant Law Officers capable of delivering its mandate to the State.
Dankuwo stated that the Week had earlier kicked off with various sporting activities at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, featuring a football match between the male staff of the Ministry of Justice and State Fire Service, as well as different games between the female team of the Ministry and Ministry of Information and Strategy, while appreciating all participants present at the events.
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