The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, has tasked judges to stop remanding minor offenders with hardened criminals, News About Nigeria reports.
This according to him is because such punishment may cause them to end up being initiated into a life of crime instead of being reformed.
The AGF also called for the implementation of non-custodial measures and sentencing guidelines under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
Fagbemi who was represented by a Director at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Leticia Ayoola-Daniel, said this at the opening session of a two-day workshop on the implementation of the Non-Custodial Measures and Sentencing Guidelines under the ACJA, 2015 on Monday.
Speaking at the event, the AGF, explained that, sentencing is a core judicial function in criminal justice but must be done properly.
He further advised judges that while they sentence offenders, they must strive to achieve the right balance between imposing a merited sentence in a case.
He noted that in order to facilitate the application and effective use of non-custodial sentencing, the legal and regulatory framework must be effectively implemented.
The AGF also explained that the primary aim of non-custodial measures is to find effective alternatives to imprisonment for offenders which is in line with the current global shift in punishing convicts with alternatives to prison terms.
According to Fagbemi, the Federal Ministry of Justice is poised to ensure that the Non-custodial measures and sentencing guidelines will be more operational and effectively implemented in Nigeria’s judicial system to achieve the objectives and purposes of the reforms in the criminal sector.
He also added that the Ministry will continue to work towards developing appropriate frameworks and measures to overcome the unique challenges in the Criminal Justice sector and strengthen the application of law to align with International standards and best practices.