The Delta State Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Peter Mrakpor, on Wednesday, October 5, said that over 120 youths are sentenced to different jail terms over cultism, rape and other related offences on weekly basis in the state.
He said the high cases of rape and cultism in some parts of the state is quite worrisome, noting that a situation where over 120 youths are remanded in prison custody just within a period of one week for cult related offences should be a source of serious concern for stakeholders.
Barrister Mrakpor made the revelation when members of the Nigerian Bar Association paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
He said the ministry under his watch will partner with the various bar associations in the area of public enlightenment and sensitization of youths against involvement in criminality, youth restiveness and other social vices which have the effect of chasing away investors from the state.
While charging the NBA members to partner with the state government in its fight against crime, the Justice Commissioner assured members of the Bar of the Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration’s resolve in bequeathing a just, credible, efficient and fast justice delivery sector through the various legal reforms already embarked upon.
He vowed not to relent in his commitment to increasing the quality of criminal law practice and also to sustain the capacity building efforts so that lawyers in the Ministry of Justice could compete favourably with their colleagues in the private law practice.
Mrakpor, who said his office was currently reviewing criminal case files of matters in court to find out the merits and otherwise of each case, averred that the process was part of government efforts in decongesting the prisons.
He also canvassed for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the amicable resolution of disputes, adding that the Delta State Government has trained over 100 Lawyers and non-Legal Officers in the Ministry in Arbitration and Mediation as a sure, fast and cheap means of resolving disputes instead of resorting to unnecessary litigations that is time consuming and expensive.