The Lagos State Ministry of Justice on Wednesday expressed its readiness to prosecute those involved in the alleged torture of a woman and her daughters in the Ejigbo market area of Lagos.
The woman, her daughter and step daughter were subjected to unbelievable acts of torture and brutality for allegedly stealing pepper at the market.
Our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele was at the Ministry of Justice where the Lagos state Attorney General, Ade Ipaye briefed members of the press on the activities of his ministry in 2013.
The Attorney General says the Lagos State government is committed to ensuring that justice is done in the case.
The AG also took time to reel out the statistics from the 2013 performance of the various law and order directorates under his ministry. He urged members of the public to take full advantage of the services of the various directorates and desist from resorting to self-help.
The office of the Public Defender, Directorate of Citizens Rights, Citizens Mediation Centre and the Lagos state Public Interest Law Partnership, are some of the directorates put in place by the government to ensure access to justice and the protection of citizens’ rights.
This episode of Law Weekly, out-gone Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Dr Mamman speaks on the standard of legal education in Nigeria.
In other legal news, the Nigerian Law School recently had its Call To Bar ceremony for over 5000 new lawyers.
The book launch in honour of the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayo Phillips was attended by the deputy governor of Lagos, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who represented the governor while some white cap chiefs represented the Oba of Lagos, judges and magistrates of the Lagos High Court were also present at the official book launch which held at the City Hall, Lagos.
The book, Landmark Judgments, a compilation of some of the notable pronouncements of the Chief Judge of Lagos, comprises the judgments of the Lagos chief judge from 1997 to 2013. The judgments range from cases of human rights to good governance, family law and more.
Also, a field survey conducted by a non-profit advocacy group, Access To Justice revealed that the law enforcement institutions in Lagos state have fallen short of implementing the bold reforms introduced by the administration of criminal justice law, in 2011.
Recently, Access To Justice spoke to journalists about their key findings and the need for more education on the provisions of the law.
On this edition of Law Weekly, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kunle Ogunba, identified what he regards as Nigeria’s judiciary’s biggest challenge, including delay in delivering justice as well as congestion in courts.
The programme also featured some of the ceremonies which marked the commencement of this legal year and some of the key things that the heads of the courts talked about that would guarantee a better judiciary going forward.
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar lamented the decline in the allocation of funds to the judiciary, while the chief judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta at the legal year ceremony of his court in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital talked about inadequate manpower and some of the measures he has put in place including directions to guarantee a more robust adjudication.
In the interview segment, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kunle Ogunba identified the delays and the slow pace of justice as the greatest challenge of the Nigerian judicial system.
He also shared his perspectives for tackling the issue and much more.
A legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye has said that it is not impossible for traitors to wish the Taraba state governor, Danbaba Suntai dead so as to have their turn at the state treasury.
He said this during an interview with Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Shoyele on Law Weekly, adding that “it’s apparent that Governor Suntai, from what we’ve seen, is not fit to resume the functions of the office of Governor” as evidenced by his inability to alight from the plane without help.
Although the governor’s close aides have insisted that Suntai is healthy, “we don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that he is not fit” he said.
He maintained that a medical examination is the appropriate determinant of one’s health as “you may be outwardly fit but the true determinant of the state of your health is a medical examination”.
Although he advised that the governor recuperate properly, he warned that there could be “opportunistic interventions” in the situation as traitors would want to switch allegiance or even “wish him dead”.
However, he cautioned that “we have to focus on the rule of law.”
This edition of the programme features highlights from the NBA 2013 Conference and an interview with Jiti Ogunye on the crisis involving Governor Danbaba Suntai, in Taraba state.
The recently concluded 53rd annual general conference of the Nigerian bar association which held in Calabar, was themed ‘Law, Leadership & Challenges of Nationhood in the 21st Century Nigeria.”
At the end of the week-long event, the president of the NBA, Mr Okey Wali read out the resolutions to the many challenges facing the nation, which were contained in a communique.
On the issue of the Taraba state crisis, a legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, speaks on the drama playing out in the state following the return of Governor Danbaba Suntai.
The situation which has been described as similar to that of the late President Yar’adua which led to a constitutional amendment, is now raising calls in some quarters for the Attorney General of the federation to step in and take steps to protect and secure the sanctity of the constitution.
Mr Ogunye said that despite the amendment, the constitution is not free from subtle manipulation or even blatant abuse. He added that the remedy lies in democratic culture, values, morality and ethics.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Bolaji Ayorinde has called for a higher level of discipline in the law profession, making a case for punishing “seemingly small infractions” of lawyers; a move he believes will curb the rising wave of indiscipline and corruption in the legal profession.
At a forum held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, some senior lawyers discussed the issue of corruption and undue delay in the administration of justice.
Participants at the forum agreed that there is a need to re-examine the quality of lawyers and instill more discipline in the profession.
On this edition of Law Weekly, our legal correspondent, Shola Shoyele discusses salient issues raised at the forum with Mr Ayorinde to get his perspective and some solutions for going forward.
The chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Taiwo Taiwo has been speaking about the swearing in of more judges in the courts across the country.
In this episode of Law Weekly with our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, he looks at the likely impact of more judges on the judicial system and condemns the practice of writing frivolous petitions against judges.
Reactions continue to trail the state pardon granted to 8 Nigerians by the National Council of State headed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
On this episode of law weekly, Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele talks to Prof Itse Sagay who at one time represented former Bayelsa state governor and recipient of the pardon, DSP Alamieyeseigha, in court.
The judicial workers strike entered Day 2 with the officials of the Judiciary Staff Union, (JUSUN) shutting down the federal courts in Lagos.
On Monday, a deputy chief registrar of the Federal High Court, Lagos had told Channels Television’s Judiciary Correspondent, Shola Soyele that there was no memo requesting them to join in the strike.
On Tuesday, the Federal High Court was locked and some of the workers could be seen milling around the premises.
The situation was the same at the Court of Appeal in Lagos.
The union officials addressed the workers and asked them to vacate their offices, go home and await the outcome of talks between the leaders of the Judiciary Staff Union and the representatives of government.
The federal judicial workers embarked on an indefinite strike following the refusal of the government to implement the consolidated salary structure and scheme of service for judiciary workers in the country.
Constitutional lawyer and former president of the Nigeria Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) yesterday said as it is unconstitutional for the president to continue to include in the Appropriation Bill, the remuneration, salaries and allowances of judges.
Agbakoba who was speaking in an interview with our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, said the time has come to demand the constitutional “first charge” funding of the judiciary and some other agencies of government in accordance with the provisions of section 81 subsection two and section 84 subsections, 1,2,3,4 and 7 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
The Economic & Financial Crimes Commission has totally disassociated itself from the judgment of Justice Abubakar Talba who gave a former director in the police pension office an option of paying a N750,000 fine for stealing N3billion police pension funds.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs in an interview with our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele said there was a prior agreement with the judge before the charges against the convict was amended and filed in line with a plea bargain arrangement.