Lagos empowers judges to compensate injured crime victims

The Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Law (ACJL) 2021 enables trial judges to award compensation to victims of crimes who suffer injuries as a result of an action of a guilty defendant, Checkout Magazine learnt.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), announced the new provision while addressing reporters at the weekend on some unique features of the ACJL, signed into law recently by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

According to the AG, Section 372 of the law gives power to judges to award commensurate compensation in criminal cases where victims have suffered losses or injuries unlike in the past where this only applies to people who have suffered financial losses.

Onigbanjo said: “Section 372 gave power to the judge to award compensation in criminal cases where victims have suffered losses or injuries, the judge also has the power to forfeit the properties of the guilty defendants or any other person or state and ordered them to be sold to compensate the victim of crimes.

“So, it no longer applies to people who suffered financial damages but also to people who suffer injuries by the action relating to that crime.

“In doing so, the court in considering the award of compensation to the victim may call for additional evidence to enable it to determine the quantum of compensation to award,” he said.

The Attorney-General also said the ACJL in Section 370 mandated the state to establish a crime data register.



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