Lagos Grants Amnesty to 42 Young Offenders from Correctional Centre
In line with the Presidential committee on Correctional Service Reform and decongestion, the Lagos State Ministry of Justice decongestion committee reviewed cases of children in conflict with the law. The exercise was in continuation of jail delivery conducted in custodial centers across Lagos, It was a measure geared towards easing custodial measures, reducing the population of boys at Borstal institution and more importantly to forestall and prevent the spread of corona virus (COVID-19) in the correctional institution.
The epoch making event was a precedence setting program, as it is the first time such program is organized for the release of young offenders within the institution.
The event which started at 11am on Tuesday 21st of July 2020 at the Samuel Ilori courthouse, Ogba, Ikeja was tagged “Final phase of the correctional centre decongestion exercise” of the forty-two (42) young offenders found worthy of release thereby granted them a second chance to be of good behavior and better member of the society.
The event witnesses the presence of dignitaries like the Chief Judge of Lagos, Honorable Justice Kazeem.o. Alogba, the Administrative judge – Honorable Justice Grace Onyiabo, the chairman decongestion committee – Honorable Justice Adenike Coker, Honorable Justices, Chief Registrar of High court of Lagos, Deputy Chief Registrar, Magistrates, Director of Public prosecution (DPP), Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), representative of the Controller of Corrections, Commissioner of Police, Solicitor General of Lagos, NGO’s, parents and guardians of the boys , media outfits and others.
The Honorable Chief Judge of Lagos-State, Honorable Justice Kazeem .O. Alogba, in his address appreciated the effort of the decongestion committee and stated that adequate investigations and preparations were made to ensure that only those who are qualified in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws are released to their parents or guardians. He blamed the ills of the children on failed parenting, lack of societal care and negligence in parental duties and not on the children themselves, he admonished parents to wake up to the reality of their responsibilities as parenting is a full time business that is very demanding.
In the same manner, he also advised the released children to desist from crime and put their attention, focus and strength towards their education or vocational trades thereby aligning to societal norms, values and standard. He holds that their release is an opportunity to grant them another chance at live and the least the society expects from them is to be of better behavior after released.
Earlier, the Controller of Corrections V M Fatodu represented by R B Yusuff (ASC1) appreciates the Lagos state government, Ministry of Justice, the Chief Judge, the decongestion committee and other dignitaries that made the event a reality. He stated that Borstal Institution is a correctional centre for boys, where young offenders committed to training and corrections at the institution undergo educational and vocational training as well as moral and religious training in a bid to rehabilitate and reform them before reintegrating them into the society. He stated that the boys set to be released have had an opportunity to either revisit the classroom or engaged in vocational training within the institution, they have also learnt how to adjust their behavior to societal norms.
He advocated for quick dispensation of juvenile matters thereby addressing cases of children that does not need to be in the institution. He urged parents and guardians to be watchful of their wards as this will help keep track of the boys and also help them in curbing their excesses and waywardness.
Raji B Yusuff (ASC1),
PRO Borstal Abeokuta,