About 52 inmates of the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, charged for various offences ranging from murder, theft, manslaughter, rape and cultism but had been incarcerated for a long period, due to their inability to afford proper legal representation, have subscribed to the free legal services of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD).
The Director of OPD, Mrs. Olubunmi Adesomoju, disclosed this when she led a team on an official visit to the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s reform policy of decongesting correctional facilities in Lagos State.
She also revealed that a Plea and Sentence Bargain sensitisation session was also held with Awaiting Trial Inmates (ATI) by the team during the visit, adding that many of the inmates freely expressed their desire for OPD to file plea bargain applications on their behalf to the Office of Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State and/or take over their cases in court.
Reiterating the determination of the Office to adequately represent those who have expressed their interest to file plea bargain applications in their court cases and provide them with free and qualitative legal services, Adesomoju assured that OPD would continue to pay regular visits to all the Correctional Centres not just to identify inmates without legal representation but to also ensure that their individual right is not trampled upon.
The Director, therefore, enjoined members of the public to approach any of the OPD offices in their locality to benefit from the free legal services being rendered by the Lagos State Government.
Recall that the OPD, in line with its statutory responsibilities, has continued to regularly visit all Correctional Centres and other detention facilities in the State in order to sensitise inmates on their rights and provide free legal services when required.