Oyo State introduces community service to de-congest prisons, courts

As part of ongoing spirited efforts to de-congest the prisons, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has assented to the community service punishment law, in which convicts will undertake hours of community service for minor offences, instead of prison terms.

Similarly, the governor has advocated the promotion and adoption of alternative dispute resolution to reduce what he called the unacceptable high number of cases awaiting trial before the courts.

The governor bared his mind during a visit to the High Court complex, headquarters of the state judiciary, where he met with the Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola, in company with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Seun Abimbola, in Ibadan, on Tuesday.

Expressing concern over the incidence of prison congestion across the country, where, he said, a majority of inmates were awaiting trial suspects, the governor restated the need for executive-judiciary synergy to stem the tide.

In his response, the CJ expressed appreciation for what he called the unalloyed support of the Ajimobi-led executive to the state judiciary, while he appealed for the gazetting of the newly-assented law on the administration of criminal justice.

Commending the governor for the initiative, he said he was confident that the new law would accelerate the judicial process.

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