Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, has advocated effective implementation of Criminal Justice and Community Service Laws in the state in a bid to ensure that convicts of minor offences are not sentenced to prisons where they may become hardened criminals.
The two laws were signed recently by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. The two laws aim at ensuring speedy criminal administration of justice and decongestion of the prisons.
Abimbola disclosed this when he addressed participants at the stakeholders workshop on the Effective Implementation of the Community Service Punishment Laws of Oyo State 2016 and Administration of Criminal, at the premises of the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan.
His words: “These two critical pieces of legislation were initiated to ensure that all arms of government and services to the people of Oyo State benefit from restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
“These two laws will afford courts in the state the opportunity to sentence convicts of minor offences to hour of community service under thorough supervision, instead of going to prison where they might become hardened criminals. The judiciary must be ready from today and fashion out an implementation strategy with internal process.”
Abimbola, however, appealed to all management structures to monitor compliance and results in the implementation of the two laws in the state.
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, enjoined law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities involved in the criminal justice administration to ensure compliance with the provision of the act for the realisation of their purposes.
Commissioner for Woman Affairs and Community Development, Mrs Atinuke Oshunkoya, charged all stakeholders at the workshop to ensure that all their officers and men, prosecutors, counsel and judicial officers familiarise themselves with the workings of the new laws to ensure the criminal justice system takes full benefit of the innovations.
The Catholic Archbishop of Archdiocese of Ibadan, Most Revd Gabriel Abegunrin, who was represented by Rev., Father Ezekiel Owoeye, noted that JDPC of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the state, especially in the areas of the promotion of good governance and social development.