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Lagos Unveils Quick Justice Dispensation Centre

The Lagos State Government in partnership with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption has trained over 100 facilitators, magistrates, traditional rulers and police officers on restorative justice procedures.

This is as it launched a restorative justice centre and Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Sector Reform Committee as part of efforts aimed at ensuring quick dispensation of justice, provision of alternative dispute resolution, decongesting the less serious case in the court system and also decongesting correctional facilities.

In his address, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, noted that the restorative justice system had been a dominant method of dealing with conflict for most of human history as it existed alongside a diverse range of other practices, including retribution hence its adoption by the state.

According to him, it is the responsibility of government to ensure that matters are resolved in a reasonable and timely manner because when they drag on for long people tend to find alternatives and take laws into their hands to get what they consider as justice.

“Restorative justice centre is a form of alternative dispute resolution and we are determined to deploy it as a tool for decongesting as many of the less serious cases in the docket of the court system and invariably the overcrowded correctional centres,” a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday quoted him as saying.

He explained further that the restorative justice system is a process where all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and usually involves a trained facilitator.

The centre, according to Onigbanjo, is expected to raise awareness and build support for the restorative justice programme as well as to invite participation and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in implementing the model of justice.

This, he noted, further demonstrates the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to expanding access to justice and building a peaceful and safe community.

The Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, expressed delight at the launch of the centre.

Noting that it is another way of ensuring quick dispensation of justice while thanking the British Council, GIZ, ROLAC and other donor agencies for their unwavering support towards promoting a criminal justice system that wins the trust of the community.

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