By Sunmola Olowookere
Out of the 191 criminal cases filed before the Ondo State High Court, 180 have been dispensed while 681 civil cases were also determined out of 905 within the last legal year.
The Chief Judge of Ondo state, Justice Olutoyin Akeredolu gave these figures during an interview with The Hope.
She said that the judiciary in the state is very prompt on disposal of cases as it has to make periodical returns of cases it handled to the National Judicial Council (NJC).
During the year under review, she revealed that a total of 37 inmates were released from prisons with 22 from Olokuta, 10 from Owo and five from Ondo prisons.
Akeredolu stated that the inmates were released as a means of decongesting the prisons during visits to the facilities between September/October 2017 and February 2018.
The Chief Judge expressed concern at the state of the prisons which she described as overcrowded and disclosed that the judiciary has plans to address this.
Part of the plans, she said included the need to pronounce sentences that would decongest the prisons such as non custodial sentences which she said is provided for in the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
She stated that the ACJL has not been tinkered with, hence most of the grounds for sentencing were drawn from the old criminal code.
She noted that the Halfway House and The Habitation of Hope which take care of Juveniles needed to be overhauled, so that the inmates from the prisons or the juvenile facilities will not be released straight to the society.
She informed that the state Judiciary has a Family Court which handles all cases relating to the family and the child.
The Family Court, according to her, was established by the Child Rights Law which was enacted in 2007 in the state.
Justice Akeredolu said that it was established to protect the rights of the child and also handle divorce cases.
She stated that the judiciary has been enjoying robust support from the other arms of government and she therefore appreciated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly for their support.
Leave a Reply