Prison Congestion: Lagos CJ Lifts Ban On Remand Orders

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, has reversed his earlier directive and instructed magistrates to resume granting remand orders to the police for suspects to be taken to correctional centers in the state. In October, the Chief Judge had suspended the issuance of such orders, responding to concerns raised by the Nigeria Correctional Service about overcrowded facilities.

However, in a recent circular dated November 7, 2023, Justice Alogba clarified that magistrates are now permitted to resume granting remand orders to the police. This change in instruction indicates a reevaluation of the situation and underscores the dynamic nature of judicial decisions in response to evolving circumstances.

The circular issued by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Administration, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, Rasaq Davies, was titled, ‘Re: Circular on rejection of new inmates by the correctional service.’

It read in part, “Furtherance to the circular dated October 23, 2023, in respect of the foregoing, I have the directive of My Lord, the Honourable Chief Judge to inform Your Honours as follows:

“Defendants can now be remanded in the Correctional Service centres with effect from Monday, November 6, 2023.

“Constitutional provisions should always be taken into consideration in imposing conditions of bail.”

“Restrain from high handedness and imposition of stringent bail conditions and discretion should be exercised judicially and judiciously,” the circular added.