By Lucky Isibor,
A law teacher and an associate professor of law in the University of Lagos, Dr. Akin Bello has said that courts in Nigeria are now empowered to consider compensation for victims of crime during trial and prosecution of criminal cases.
Bello who added that the new Administration of Criminal Justice Law which came into effect in 2018 made provisions for the consideration of compensation for victims during criminal proceedings, disclosed this at the Plea Bargaining and Sentencing Guidelines Sensitisation Workshop for Media Personnel and Civil Society Organisations organised by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, RoLAC, programme in conjunction with the Edo State Ministry of Justice, held Friday, November 15, 2019 in Benin City.
Bello who was also the facilitator at the sensitisation workshop, eulogised the Edo State judiciary for the formulation of the the practice directive for plea bargaining and sentencing guidelines, saying it will enhance the speedy dispensation of justice in the state.
He pointed out that courts in Edo State by the guidelines are now obliged to give reasons for the sentence they pass in corruption cases involving plea bargaining.
While enumerating the factors that will determine rebate in the determination of sentence in corruption cases to include cooperation with investigators, forfeiture of corruptly acquired assets, demeanour during pendency of prosecution amongst others, the university Don tasked participants, especially journalists on the need to tailor their reports to include reasons for the sentences passed in corruption cases.
Participants at the sensitisation workshop include media practitioners, members of faith based organisations and members of civil society organisations.