The Attorney Generals of the six South-West states held their first virtual meeting since the coronavirus pandemic and deliberated on issues pertaining to the effective administration of justice in the region.
The meeting which was facilitated by the Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, also had in attendance Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, Adekola Olawoye SAN, Professor Oyewole Oyewo, Akingbolahan Adediran and Olufemi Akande, the Attorney Generals of Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun and Osun States respectively.
According to a release made available to Tribune Online by the office of the Ekiti State Attorney General, the chief law officers deliberated on a number of issues affecting the administration of justice in their respective states and the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system.
They expressed concern about the continued closure of correctional centers and its effects on effective prosecution of serious crimes and resolved to collectively urge the Minister of Interior to achieve a quick resolution of the matter.
The Attorney Generals also commended the National Judicial Council (NJC) for issuing guidelines for court sittings and related matters in this COVID-19 period.
They welcomed the novel idea of virtual court hearings as a means of achieving speedy and safe dispensation of cases during the ongoing COVID-19 period with a commitment to ensuring the progressive implementation of the NJC guidelines in the six South-West states.
The statement also disclosed that the Attorney Generals discussed the modalities for the harmonisation and uniformity of laws of the South-West states and agreed to establish a Committee on the Unification of Laws of South-West States specifically in areas of criminal laws and commercial laws and broadly in enacting legislation that affects the socio-economic development of the six states in the region.
Other issues discussed at the meeting include the state of implementation of the six states’ Security Network Agency Laws (Amotekun Laws) wherein they all agreed to work collaboratively, sharing of information and expertise on the implementation of the legal and institutional framework of the security network agencies.
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