By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Onozure Dania
Lagos—THE Federal Government is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to relocate the present Ikoyi Prisons to Epe for security and efficiency, after a world class facility must have been built in the area.
Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem disclosed this at a chat with journalists. He also reinstated the state government determination to prosecute tax evaders this year.
According to him, “There will be no sacred cows on payment of tax and necessary levies in the state.”
Mr Kazeem, who said the state government was willing to continue its drive for concrete justice delivery system, disclosed that discussion between both state and federal governments for the relocation of the Prison had reached advanced level.
He disclosed that the state was waiting for the design to build a world class facility for inmates in Epe.
As at today, there are about 2, 358 inmates in the 800-capacity Ikoyi Prisons.
Vanguard gathered that there are about 321 convicts while the facility has about 2,037 awaiting-trial inmates.
Prison officials last year disclosed that majority of the inmates were sleeping on bare floor.
Meanwhile, the AG said: “There is an on-going discussion with the Federal Government to locate that prison to possibly Epe or some other location, and free of that place. The whole idea is that that prison is congested right in the middle of the city. What we are going to agree with the Federal Government is get the design, build the world class prison facility.”
In America and I believe some other places, they call prisons, correctional centres, because you are supposed to correct the behavior of people that are sent to that prison, so that they can come out and become better people in the society.
“So that’s one of the things we have to do. One thing the governor has said is that he would intervene, even though it is federal government’s problem, so to speak, but we have no choice because it is deals with issues in Lagos State. There are issues about infrastructure, hygiene, accommodation, so we have to take it in piece meal. I asked my S.A. on criminal prosecution to do a major report in conjunction with the Controller of Prison in Lagos State to identify a lot of those things. I know that when we start working earnest this year we would begin to look at those things that would also address a lot of these congestion issues”, he noted.
On the issue of domestic violence and sexual offenses, he said the State Government was still very much committed to ensuring the protection of all residents against any form of gender based violence and discrimination, saying “the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) is poised to prosecute such cases.”
The AG touched on some other issues including Juvenile In Conflict with Law, DNA, Training Forensic Centre, Street Trading & Hawking, Land Grabbers, Agberos, and Lagos Tenancy Law.