From Tunde Rahman, Lokoja
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami has assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will provide free access to justice and better life for down trodden Nigerians.
Malami disclosed this weekend while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat with the theme “Repositioning Legal Aid Council for better service delivery” in Lokoja, the state capital.
He stated that the retreat is coming at a time when the country needs to ensure that every Nigerians has unhindered access to justice. He explained that the Legal Aid Council has a major role to play and as such needs to be well repositioned for the task ahead.
The Attorney General of the 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 stand for .
“As you are aware ,the Council was established 1976 with progumlation of Legal Aid decree NO 56 with the mandate to handle criminal matters. With passage of time and upsurge of civil matters, the act was repealed in 2011 wherein the mandate of the Council was expanded to cover both criminal and civil matters .This has in no small measure enable the Council to cover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”, he 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 indigent Nigerians, stressing that the place of the Council in the administration of justice can not be over emphasized .
“Together with other key stakeholders such as the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Correctional Service and with support of our parent Ministry, we have been able to achieve some level of success in the discharge of our mandate as contained in the 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 administration of justice Kogi state.
Justice Ajanah noted that the Council had always be part of Correctional Centres decongestion exercise, saying that the judiciary will continue to partner with Legal Aid Council.