LAGOS encourages victims of crime to stand as witnesses in court trials

The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, has urged victims of crime to exhibit necessary courage by coming out as credible witnesses to support their claims during court trials for the speedy delivery of justice.

The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olayinka Adeyemi, has urged victims of crime to exhibit necessary courage by coming out as credible witnesses to support their claims during court trials for the speedy delivery of justice.

Adeyemi, who gave the charge during an interview on a Lagos Traffic Radio programme “Side Mirror”, added that it is not enough for victims to merely report a crime to the Police but to also be prepared to go all the way by appearing in Courts to give oral evidence when the need arises during trials.

She disclosed that a Witness Support Unit (WSU) was established in the Directorate a few years ago, to provide support to victims of crime and ensure their rights are protected, stressing that “A witness is a critical aspect of any criminal trial”.

The Director explained that witnessing in court is an obligatory duty for all citizens, so as to ensure an effective and speedy administration of Criminal Justice in Lagos State.

While listing the responsibilities of the Witness Support Unit, Adeyemi declared that adequate protection from all forms of intimidation is given to all witnesses who victims of crimes.

“The Unit also provides different kind of support, ranging from psychosocial to financial for witnesses, especially victims of assaults, defilement, rape and armed robbery, amongst others. The Witnesses are also educated on the status of their cases, in order to prepare them for appearances in court”.

Speaking further, Adeyemi said the Ministry, under the leadership of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, (SAN), has maintained a speedy dispensation of Justice, which is key to an effective administration of Justice in Lagos State.

While stating that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions ensures that Legal Advice is issued within 14 days of receiving the case file in respect of a crime, Mrs. Adeyemi said that the Witness Support Unit immediately contacts the victims before the case goes to court.

She, however, implored the witnesses to contact the Ministry of Justice on 08082145935 or 09090152284 to confirm the status of their cases or seek clarification on matters that are ongoing.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.