The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to expand the Lagos Criminal Information System (LCIS) towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, disclosed this on Wednesday at ongoing Y2024 Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate the First Year of the Second Term in office Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu's administration in office held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

According to the Attorney General, the initiative involves the integration of advanced technology to create a comprehensive and accessible database of criminal records. 

He also noted that the LCIS includes key features, such as real-time data entry, improved case tracking, and seamless information sharing among law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the judiciary.

Mr. Pedro further explained that scaling up of the LCIS aims to reduce case backlogs, ensure accurate and timely access to criminal records, and foster greater transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system. 

"This strategic enhancement not only streamlines operations but also strengthens public trust and safety among residents of the State", he said.

In addition to this, the Attorney General noted that the LCIS has facilitated the release of more than 250 persons through the Plea Bargain System, outright discontinuane of case where the offense allegedly committed is a minor offence or where case file of suspect was not forwarded to the office of the DPP.

The A.G further highlighted a major achievement of the LCIS which is the propagation of the first Juvenile Information System in Nigeria for children in conflict with the law.

Other achievements of the LCIS, according to him, includes the provision of support committee on prerogative of mercy to verify details of applicants/convicts recommended; collaboration with Ministry of Youth and Social Development to profile under-age in conflict with the law; Processing of over 60,000 requests by Magistrates, High Courts and the DPP prosecutors between May 2019 to April 2024 and supporting the regeneration of over 4,000 records of suspects that were destroyed during the EndSars protest in 2020.

He also revealed that in the period under review, the Office of Public Defendant (OPD), a Directorate under the Ministry of Justice, obtained 230 judgements in favour of the State, handled 1,812 child-related cases, 316 domestic violence-related cases, and 29 rescue missions; the DPP also obtained 40 judgements in courts and 11 Plea Bargains, received 377 files for legal advice, out of which it issued 229 advice, with 148 files pending.

Similarly, he said, the Directorate of Citizen's Rights (DCR) received 755 petitions on family matters, 131 petitions on employee/employer matters and 744 tenancy matters, out of which 539 (family matters), 80 (employee/employer) and 577 (tenancy matters) were resolved respectively while the Citizens' Mediation Centre (CMC) received a total number of 35,655 matters for mediation, out of which 20,691 were treated and resolved.

Additionally, the Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Court, arrested, arraigned and convicted a total number of 10,266 for various minor offences; the LSTFLG obtained nine judgements in favor of the State, received 582 petitions out of which 120 was concluded, 71 Enforcement Approvals and 33 inscriptions

His words, "The Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) also obtained over 50 judgements, handled 4,641 adult cases, 2,976 children cases, 118 rape cases, rescued 64 people, 36 restraining order, handled 652 social welfare cases, concluded mediation in 107 cases and reached over 800,000 people in the community through advocacy and sensitization.

"The Directorate of Civil Litigation obtained six judgements in favor of the state, received a contingent liability in terms of Claims in Court to the tune of ₦1, 602, 430, 012, 517.71, and a contingent liability in favour of the State Government which has increased to ₦95, 644,801,659.71”.

Concluding the scorecard of the Ministry, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, noted that some of the future plans in advancing justice administration in the State are Partnership with Pepperdine University, USA; Digitalization of Departments and Units; Recruitment of Counsel and the upcoming Justice Reform Summit, themed: Enhancing the Administration of Justice for Economic Growth, Investment Protection and Security in Lagos State.

The Attorney General reassured residents of Lagos State that the State Government and the Ministry of Justice will ensure that justice is extended to all nooks and crannies of the State.

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