The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the states Attorneys-General to leverage their network and individual positions to effect the desired changes in the justice sector.
Osibanjo commended their efforts and accomplishments in their respective jurisdictions.
The Vice President said this on Tuesday when he hosted six attorneys-general from the South-West states at the Presidential Villa. They had briefed him on the progress of justice reforms in their various states.
Senior Special Assistant to the VP on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement titled, ‘VP gets updates on justice sector reforms, lauds efforts in six states’.
The visiting Attorneys-General and Justice Commissioners were led on the visit by the Ekiti State Attorney-General, Olawale Fapohunda. Others were Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo; Ondo State Attorney-General, Charles Titiloye; Oyo State Attorney-General, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Ogun State Attorney-General, Akingbolahan Adeniran; and his Osun State counterpart, Olufemi Akande.
Responding to the AGs, Osinbajo noted that “just looking at the sheer range of the things that have been done, I really must commend you for a very great work.
“I think there is a need for us especially at the state level, to ensure that prosecutions move quickly. we must devote some time to how we can improve the pace of cases in our courts”.
The Vice President who expressed delight at the visit commended the Attorneys-General for the “great work” that has been done in the States, observing the wide range of areas being covered by the Justice Sector Reforms.
The Attorneys-General said they were inspired by Osinbajo’s successes during his stint as Lagos State Attorney-General.
In separate remarks, they attributed some of the gains recorded in their States to his innovative ideas.
They detailed different initiatives being implemented in their States centering around reforms on the administration of the justice system such as alternative dispute resolution, access to justice, capacity building for judicial officers, digitisation, and general infrastructure upgrade.
The presentations also included social protection objectives and improving the legal framework for enhancing the business environment in the States.
Referring specifically to ongoing reform efforts in Lagos and other states, Lagos State Attorney General, Onigbanjo, said “Your Excellency, you laid a solid foundation upon which we are building on today. The reforms initiated by you as AG have been the basis for what we are doing and have done in Lagos.”
In the same vein, the Oyo State AG, Prof. Oyewo noted that “we are proud of your achievements and contributions to the development of the judiciary and this great country.”
On his part, the leader of the delegation and Justice Commissioner of Ekiti State, Fapohunda, said the reform process in the States including in Ekiti is focused on law reform, institutional reform, and general reviews in areas that have a direct impact on the administration of justice system.
He also praised the foundational justice reform works of Osinbajo in Lagos State, saying “I align myself to what has been said, we are proud of what you did as AG in Lagos, some of the things being done today are based on your foundational works.”