The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on Monday called for the implementation of non-custodial measures and sentencing guidelines under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to reduce the country’s growing number of awaiting trial inmates.
The AGF also encouraged trial judges to stop remanding minor offenders with dangerous criminals, which he said led to them being introduced into a life of crime rather than being reformed.
He stated that the goal of non-custodial measures is to discover viable alternatives to incarceration for offenders.
The AGF, who was represented by a Director at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Leticia Ayoola-Daniel, described sentencing as a core judicial function in criminal justice in an address he delivered at the opening session of a two-day workshop on the implementation of the Non-Custodial Measures and Sentencing Guidelines under the ACJA, 2015.
He said: “In discharging that function, the sentencing Judge must strive to achieve the right balance between imposing a merited sentence in the case at hand while maintaining a broad level of consistency with other cases so that sentencing at a systematic level is fair.
“Sentencing guidelines and frameworks are best understood as means to enable the sentencing court to strike that sometimes elusive balance.
“The Administration of Criminal Justice Act was enacted and came into force on May 13, 2015.”