Lagos To Protect Witnesses, Victims During Court Trials
Nigeria - The Lagos State Government has reiterated its unwavering commitment to providing all necessary support to witnesses and victims of crime during Court trials.
The State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, disclosed this during a sensitisation programme organised by the State government, in collaboration with Rule of Law Anti-Corruption Agency (ROLAC), at Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA) on Thursday.
She said the Witness Support Unit, under the Department of Public Prosecutions, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, was established to provide all necessary support ranging from psychosocial, financial and legal assistance to witnesses, especially victims of assault, defilement, rape and armed robbery, amongst others, to ensure adequate protection for such witnesses throughout the duration of the Court trials.
While appreciating the large turn out of Odi-Olowo residents at the programme, Olayinka noted that the community will be better enlightened on the roles and importance of witnesses and their rights under the Law.
The Director pointed out that without witnesses during Court trials, cases may not proceed as expected and this, in turn, could lead to unnecessary delay in the dispensation of Justice.
In her words, "Witnesses play a vital and important role in every case as this will ease the workload of Judges and Counsels, thereby ensuring that justice is served promptly and appropriately".
She further mentioned that part of the rights of witnesses are to be regularly informed on the proceedings and status of their cases while also educating them on their obligation.
The Coordinator of the Witness Support Unit, Adetutu Oshinusi, remarked that it is the responsibility of the Unit to properly guide witnesses on credible trials. Oshinusi, however, implored would-be witnesses to remain courageous while they provide needed evidence to ensure efficiency in the administration of Criminal Justice in Lagos State.