In furtherance of the Lagos State Government’s commitment to decongest Correctional Centres in the State, a team from the Directorate of Public Prosecution on Friday sensitised the inmates of Ikoyi Correctional Centre on ‘Plea Bargain’ to aid speedy dispensation of Justice.
Speaking during the sensitisation at the Centre, the Director, Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, described Plea Bargaining as a negotiated agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant, whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offence or to one of multiple charges in exchange for some concession by the prosecutor, usually a more lenient sentence or a dismissal of the other charges.
Mrs. Adeyemi, represented at the event by the Deputy Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Adenike Oluwafemi, added that the sensitisation on a plea bargain will better educate the inmates on the procedures and policies applicable to each crime committed, saying that this will reduce expenses on trials as well as the trial period in Courts.
She said, “Other Correctional Centres in the State have already been visited during the course of the week to further educate the inmates about the option of Plea Bargaining”.
In his response to the team’s visit, Deputy Controller of Corrections, Ikoyi Correctional Centre, Mr. Dare Ayoola Opadeji, commended the idea of sensitising inmates on the procedures required to lessen their sentence and enhance quick dispensation of Justice.
According to him, the Correctional facility wasn’t established to house so many inmates at once, as such the problem of congestion at the Centres are due to Awaiting Trial Inmates (ATI) who exceed those serving prison terms.
His words: “The Ikoyi Correctional Centre established in 1955 for the maximum capacity of 800 inmates now has a population of 2,093 inmates with more than half of the detainees Awaiting Trial, which has made the goal of decongesting the centre difficult to achieve”.
While noting that the concerned authorities in charge of the centres have done their fair share in ensuring the inmates are regularly sensitised on important matters, Opadeji commended the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and its Directorates for continuously assisting Correctional Centres on the welfare and well-being of inmates.
Others present during that sensitisation programme include the Assistant Director and Secretary to the Plea Bargain Committee, Mrs. Adebanke Ogunode; Assistant Superintendent/Legal Officer for Ikoyi Correctional Centre Olatubosun Osituga and Assistant Superintendent, Ikoyi Correctional Centre, Ikenna Egobudike among others.