The Lagos State House of Assembly recently approved a law to support and protect witnesses who have reliable information that could aid in the prosecution of cases as well as victims of accidents and crimes.
“A bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and safeguard witnesses and for linked objectives,” reads the measure’s title.
According to Newsonspot findings, the measure, which has been characterized as one that will protect lives and property, is intended to build a tranquil Lagos society in keeping with the growth of the state.
The 71-section bill, which establishes an organization to help it fulfill its requirements and objectives, is the first to be approved by a Nigerian State House of Assembly.
The bill is intended to support the Megacity or Smart City drive of the Lagos government, according to a statement issued to Naija News by Eromosele Ebhomele, Chief Press Secretary to Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The bill also specifies how the agency is to be operated, how a Trust Fund is to be established, and where and how to use the funds that should make up the fund. Currently, the measure is awaiting Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s approval.
Below are 10 other things to know about the bill and the agency:
1. Provide necessary assistance to victims and witnesses including measures for treatment, reparation, restitution and rehabilitation.
2. Conduct research into ways victims and witnesses can be effectively treated, rehabilitated, assisted, compensated and protected.
3. Create a conducive environment for witnesses to make statements before law enforcement agencies without fear of any repercussions.
4. Pay compensation to victims or witnesses for any physical or mental harm, loss or damages to property.
5. A victim or witness shall be protected as far as practicable from unnecessary contact with the alleged offender and defence witnesses during trial and proceedings.
6. A victim or witness who suspects that harm may be inflicted on him due to his participation in any investigation can seek protection.
7. A victim or witness can be provided with security, temporary accommodation, permanent relocation, temporary or permanent employment or change of identity.
8. Victims of accident or crime must be assisted by the public or security agents and taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.
9. A hospital or facility that fails to treat a victim can face a N1m fine. If victim dies, the hospital or doctor faces prosecution.
10. A private hospital that receives an accident victim with severe wound must inform the agency within 48 hours for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members are not known or where the victim is indigent.