By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Federation , Mr . Abubakar Malami has restated the commitment of the Federal government to provide free access to justice and better life for the down trodden Nigerians .
Malami who disclosed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of two -day retreat themed “Repositioning Legal Aid Council for better service delivery” in Lokoja, the state capital on Friday, 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 lot of role to play and as such needs to be well repositioned for the task ahead adding 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NO 56 with the mandate to handle criminal matters .With passage of time and upsurge of civil matters, the act was repealed in 2011 wherein the mandate of the Council was expanded to cover both criminal and civil matters .This has in no small measure enable the council to cover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”, the Attorney General said.
Earlier, 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 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 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 judiciary will continue to partner with Legal Aid Council.