Ibadan—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.
N13.7bn released for LG workers, pensioners arrears
Meantime, the state government yesterday, said it has disbursed over N13 billion to settle five months salaries owed local government workers and primary school teachers as well as pensioners in the state.
The State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, who said this in Ibadan, explained that the N13.7 billion released to the Ministry from the office of the State’s Accountant General comprised the April, May and June allocations for Local Governments in the state and a share from Paris Club refund.