The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr . Abubakar Malami has restated the commitment of the Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to provide free access to justice and better the lives of the downtrodden Nigerians.
Malami who disclosed this on Friday while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat themed “Repositioning Legal Aid Council for better service delivery” in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, stated that the retreat is coming at a time the country needs to ensure that every Nigerian has unhindered access to justice.
He explained that the Legal Aid Council has a lot of roles to play and as such needs to be repositioned for the task ahead.
The Attorney General of Federation added that one of the services that could be provided to the people is the unhindered access to justice of which legal Aid Council stands for.
“As you are aware, the council was established in 1976 with the promulgation of Legal Aid decree NO 56 with the mandate to handle criminal matters. With the passage of time and upsurge of civil matters, the act was repealed in 2011, wherein the mandate of the Council was expanded to cover both criminal and civil matters. This has in no small measure enable the council to cover substantial ground in the administration of Justice in the country,“ the Attorney General said.
Earlier in his address, the Director-General, Legal Aid Council, Abubakar Aliyu explained that Legal Aid Council has a long history spanning over 40 years of service to the indigent Nigerians, stressing that the place of the council in the administration of justice cannot be overemphasized.
“Together with other key stakeholders such as the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Correctional Service and with the support of our parent Ministry, we have been able to achieve some level of success in the discharge of our mandate as contained in enabling Act,” he stressed.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah commended the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria for their role in the administration of justice in Kogi State.
Justice Ajanah noted that the Council had always been part of Correctional Centres decongestion exercise, saying that judiciary will continue to partner with Legal Aid Council.
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