The Acting Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary (SGF/PS), Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ) Mr. Benjamin Okolo has urged members of staff to make judicious use of training opportunities provided for them by the Ministry.
The Ag. SGF, represented by Director Legal Drafting Mrs. Ifunaya Nwajagu, made the statement at the opening of a three-day training workshop organized by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice for staff of Citizens’ Rights Department in Abuja today Monday February 21st, 2022.
He explained that training and re-training of public officers was very important as it refreshes their memory and keeps them abreast of current developments in their respective areas of specialization to engender maximum impact on the job.
According to him, “this is particularly so in the legal profession as the law is dynamic and keeps changing from time to time.”
“Such training programmes also assist public officers to improve in the performance and discharge of their duty”. Okolo added.
The Ag. SGF/PS commended the organizers for putting together an array of seasoned legal professionals as resource persons who will deliver various papers showed that the law officers would at the end of the programme be enriched and will greatly improve in the discharge of their duties.
He thanked the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Abdullatif Ladan for his support and robust relationship towards the Ministry.
In his welcome address, the Director, Citizens’ Right Department Mr Faanee K. Bebu expressed happiness that the department was able to organise the programme despite which was originally slated for November, 2021.
Bebu thanked the DG NIALS for the institute’s support and also his colleagues for finding time to attend, urging them to pay utmost attention during the workshop.
He revealed that the workshop was meant to serve dual purposes of assisting staff of the department to do their work better and also to satisfy the requirements set out by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) for citizens’ right education.
While delivering his lecture titled “ Protection of Citizens’ Rights in the Administration of Justice”, Professor Yemi Akinseye-George, explained that post 2015, the law expects adequate protection not only of the rights of the defendant but also the right of the victim, witness and society at large.
He urged the lawyers in the department to have a thorough knowledge of relevant laws which is a panacea to boosting their confidence on the job.
While contributing, DG NIALS Professor Abdullatif Ladan asserted that there was a lot of work to be done as regards the rights of citizens; hence he challenged the department to properly articulate their plans and programmes during budget preparations. He equally challenged the staff of the department on professionalism.
In his lecture, the second resource person, Professor Edoba Omoregie on “Judicial Attitude towards the application of FREP Rules 2009 in Nigeria”, explained that “these rights are carefully set out in sections 33-44 to include: right to life, dignity, personal liberty, fair hearing and impartiality of the arbiter, right to privacy, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of movement and to reside in any part of Nigeria, freedom from discrimination on ground of ethnicity, origin, sex, religion or political opinion; right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, right to just compensation in case of lawful compulsory acquisition of moveable or immovable property”.
He further explained that FREP Rules of 2009 contain a number of very ground-breaking, purposive and innovative provisions all aimed at speeding up the enforcement process and guaranteeing victims of rights violation greater access to the courts either by themselves in person or through proxy or other interested person or non-governmental organization.
For: Deputy Director (Information)
22nd February, 2022