- Seeks partnership with judiciary to decongest prisons, courts
Oyo State Governor Governor, Abiola Ajimobi on Wednesday expressed worry over court and prison congestion in the state.
Ajimobi who said he has been thinking of how well to tackle the challenge disclosed Wednesday that his administration has approved community service punishment law to decongest prisons in the state.
He said he would need to partner with the state judiciary to make the efforts yield fruit.
Ajimobi spoke in Ibadan during a visit to the state’s High Court, where he led the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice (AG), Mr. Seun Abimbola to meet the Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola.
Under the arrangement, convicts would undertake hours of community service for minor offences, instead of serving prison terms.
Ajimobi called for an executive-judiciary synergy to stem the tide of high incidence of prison congestion across the country.
He advocated the promotion and adoption of alternative dispute resolution to reduce the high number of awaiting trial cases before the courts.
He said: “I have observed that there is a continuing congestion of our courts with lawsuits, despite various efforts at decongesting the same. For this reason, I have directed the attorney general to work with the chief judge to design a structure that would ensure that the issue is finally laid to rest.
He pledged his continued support for the judiciary, which, he said, is the last and only hope of the common man.
The chief judge expressed appreciation for the governor’s unalloyed support for the judiciary, while appealing for the publication of the newly assented law on the administration of criminal justice.
He said he was confident that the new initiative would accelerate the judicial process and solicited the repositioning of the state’s Judicial Service Commission.
Abimbola explained that under his leadership, the judiciary achieved the construction and renovation of court buildings and structures, adding that magistrates and other cadres of staff were also promoted.