LAGOS ENCOURAGES VICTIMS OF CRIME TO STAND AS WITNESSES IN COURT TRIALS
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, has urged victims of crime to exhibit necessary courage by coming out as credible witnesses to support their claims during court trials for the speedy delivery of justice.
Adeyemi, who gave the charge during an interview on a Lagos Traffic Radio programme “Side Mirror”, added that it is not enough for victims to merely report a crime to the Police but to also be prepared to go all the way by appearing in Courts to give oral evidence when the need arises during trials.
She disclosed that a Witness Support Unit (WSU) was established in the Directorate a few years ago, to provide support to victims of crime and ensure their rights are protected, stressing that "A witness is a critical aspect of any criminal trial”.
The Director explained that witnessing in court is an obligatory duty for all citizens, so as to ensure an effective and speedy administration of Criminal Justice in Lagos State.
While listing the responsibilities of the Witness Support Unit, Adeyemi declared that adequate protection from all forms of intimidation is given to all witnesses who victims of crimes.
"The Unit also provides different kind of support, ranging from psychosocial to financial for witnesses, especially victims of assaults, defilement, rape and armed robbery, amongst others. The Witnesses are also educated on the status of their cases, in order to prepare them for appearances in court".
Speaking further, Adeyemi said the Ministry, under the leadership of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, (SAN), has maintained a speedy dispensation of Justice, which is key to an effective administration of Justice in Lagos State.
While stating that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions ensures that Legal Advice is issued within 14 days of receiving the case file in respect of a crime, Mrs. Adeyemi said that the Witness Support Unit immediately contacts the victims before the case goes to court.
She, however, implored the witnesses to contact the Ministry of Justice on 08082145935 or 09090152284 to confirm the status of their cases or seek clarification on matters that are ongoing.