JDPC IBADAN HOLDS STAKEHOLDRES REVIEW WORKSHOP ON COMMUNITY SERVICE
The Oyo state government has been charged towards ensuring adequate funding for community service scheme in Oyo state. This statement was made by Fr Jerome Ajakaiye, the Director of Justice, Development and Peace Commission Ibadan, during his welcome address at a one-day annual stakeholders' review workshop on the Community Service scheme in Oyo State Organized by JDPC Ibadan.
Fr Ajakaiye noted that the scheme has committed over one thousand offenders of minor offences to community service with the opportunity of receiving counselling to ensure their proper reformation and discourage recidivism.
The Chief Judge of Oyo state, Hon. Justice Iyabo Yerima who was represented by Hon. Justice Ladiran Akintola, applauded the decongestion of Custodial centres in Oyo state due to the community service punishment as a viable alternative to imprisonment for offenders of minor offences.
He advocated for strict supervision of convicts serving under the community service scheme, especially those convicted of financial crimes. Hon Justice Akintola also suggested that convicts should be made to serve in their community of origin to make them remorseful.
The Guest speaker, Mr Oluseun Abimbola SAN, who was the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Oyo state when the Community service bill was passed into law while delivering a paper on “Roadmap to Sustainable Financing for The Community Service Scheme of Oyo State” urged the government to commit more budgetary allocation to enable the scheme serve it purpose in the state.
Mr Abimbola noted that the judiciary has done a lot to self-fund the community service scheme for over Seven years. He suggested improved and intentional budgeting, facilitation of support from various partner groups/agencies, and payment of costs and fines by offenders as may be ordered by the court among others as a means to ensure sustainable financing for Non-Custodial and community service in Oyo State.
The Deputy Chief Registrar Community Service, Mr Idowu also stressed the need for adequate funding of the Community Service Scheme for effective functioning of the scheme. Mr Idowu cited provision of tools for offenders, improved condition of service of Community service officers and recruitment of more personnel among others as the immediate needs of the scheme
The stakeholders’ review workshop also featured feedback and was well attended by members of the Oyo state judiciary, Nigeria Bar Association, law enforcement agencies, civil society and the press.