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Sanwo-Olu harps on reforms to enhance justice delivery



The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stressed the need for the implementation of reforms that will enhance the delivery of justice system in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu also called for collective and strategic response to tackle the nation’s justice system challenges.

The governor said this in his keynote address at the three-day retreat of the top management of the Federal Ministry of Justice, on Thursday, in Lagos.

The theme of the 2024 retreat was: “Enhancing Systems And Structure in The Federal Ministry Of Justice For Effective Justice Sector Service Delivery.”

Sanwo-Olu said the retreat depicted the pivotal role that justice system played in the wellbeing of society.

According to him, a robust and efficient justice system forms the bedrock of a just and equitable society.

“The challenges we face in our justice sector demands a collective and strategic response.

“Our duty, therefore, as stewards of justice is to ensure that the structures in place are not only resilient but also adaptable to the evolving needs of our society which requires a careful example of our existing systems.

“There is a need to locate where there are gaps and a commitment in implementing reforms that will enhance the delivery of justice services to the Nigerian people,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), in his opening remark, said the choice of Lagos State for the retreat was both deliberate and strategic.

Fagbemi said the Lagos State Government had continued to set the pace in the provision of innovative access to justice services, as well as the development of creative reforms aimed at improving the system of administration of justice, generally.

He noted that the state had been resilient and strategic in tackling contemporary justice sector challenges and successful in developing effective access to justice programmes over the years.

He said: “It was important for us to come here to learn and share experience on challenges and best practices for enhancing systems and structures to support the justice sector.

“You are all well aware that the Federal Ministry of Justice plays a very critical role in the overall developmental agenda of the country, as it offers services that impact on all areas of national development.

“The role of the ministry is critical to the agenda of the government to build a strong economy, and combat corruption and insecurity.

“Our duties are an amalgamation of law and policy; it is, therefore, critical that we continually review our operational strategies to enable us meet the yearnings of our people for an effective, effective and people-oriented justice system.

“Since assumption of office, I have looked forward to an opportunity to interact with the management staff of the ministry in an informal and relaxed environment to share my vision for the reform of the justice sector.”

The AGF said one of the objectives of the retreat was to enable the review and validation of the draft strategic plan of the ministry from 2003 to 2027.

He said the draft strategic plan had been developed and structured in a manner that would meet the key aspirations of the nation.

Fagbemi listed the critical areas as security, rule of law and economic well-being.

“Since the justice sector responsibilities are co-located in different arms of government, as well as agencies and institutions, the realisation of this objective will require active collaboration with all justice sector stakeholders on critical and cross-cutting issues affecting the sector.

“This management retreat is also crucial as it would provide an opportunity for us to further appreciate our role in delivering on aspects of the eight focus areas and priorities of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Most importantly, this retreat will prepare and acquaint the management of the ministry with the tasks that they are expected to perform with respect to the performance bond, which the solicitor-general of the federation/permanent secretary and I signed with Mr President on Nov. 3, 2023,” he said.

Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, said the retreat of the top management in the ministry would address constructive strategies to improve the justice system.

Jedy-Agba said the aim of the retreat was to upload the highest standard of professionalism in justice delivery.

Adenike Ayodele

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