25th June, 2012
The new Criminal Law of Lagos State will help to stem violent crime in the state, says Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Legislative Powers Bureau, Mr. Muslim Folami.
At a one-day Legislative Awareness and Sensitisation Programme on the new criminal law in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Folami said that reaching a violent-free Lagos is a task that must be accomplished by the state government and the public.
“The state government will continue to promote an enabling environment for the smooth administration of justice in the state,” he said, adding that the law review was an attempt by the government to modernise and update the administration of criminal justice system in the state.
He stated that the programme would give opportunities to citizens to have better understanding of the dictates of the law.
“It will afford the stakeholders to participate in the good governance of the state as vital issues inherent in the law will be analysed since all legislation passed often form the bedrock of the cardinal objectives of the present administration towards making Lagos economic hub and nerve centre of Nigeria and indeed Africa,” he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, at the event said the state government reviewed the 98-year-old criminal law to accommodate new trends and wave of crime.
He stated that the old criminal law lacked some provisions that were very essential in the adjudication of justice in recent times, stressing that the continuous changes in the society demanded a continuous review of the state laws to fast track prompt administration of justice.
According to him, the problems in the old criminal law made the comprehensive review of the law by the state government inevitable.
The commissioner added that the old criminal law only provided for imprisonment and fine as only penalties for crime while other options such as non-custodian, restitution and probation were not considered, which had led to offenders convicted for minor offences.
“In the new criminal law, compensation and some new conditions that may serve as defence for the accused person have been put in place for consideration in the new laws. The new laws have been simplified to make it more comprehensible for all the citizens,” he stated.