The Office of Public Defender (OPD) in Lagos State has admonished the people of the State to desist from pleading for crime offenders so as to allow the law to take its course.
OPD Director, Mrs.Olayinka Adeyemi said that the appeal became necessary following the prevalent practice of pleading on behalf of perpetrators of crime thus slowing down the pace of justice system in the society.
Adeyemi, who spoke at the sensitization campaign and legal clinic held at the palace of the Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi said that there is no ignorance in law and as such anyone who goes against the law should be made to face the consequence.
“We have noticed that when these offences are committed, particularly against children; landlords, community and religious leaders, family members and respectable people in the society usually plead on their behalf. They even go to the extent of pressurising the parents of the children involved not to follow up the case.
“They should stop begging for the perpetrators. It is shameful to see that they are pleading for criminals as against supporting the government to ensure that those who commit evil acts do not go free so as to serve as deterrent to others”, she added.
“We must not encourage negative acts in our society’’, she said, noting that if nothing is done to perpetrators of evil acts, they would go back to commit more grievous offences or encourage others to do likewise.
While expressing concern over the increasing cases of sexual offences, especially rape and defilement of children, she reaffirmed the State Government zero tolerance for domestic violence. Rape, she said, is a form of domestic violence just like defilement and that the punishment for both is life imprisonment under the Criminal Law of Lagos.
“For efficient and effective judicial service delivery, all hands must be on deck. We all must be ready to speak out when offence is committed, especially against the women who are mostly victims of this type of offence and who might be afraid to report the crime because of stigmatization,” she said.
OPD was established to render free legal services to the less privileged members of the State with emphasis on the socio-economic rights of women, children and persons living with disability.
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