The Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda said yesterday in Ado Ekiti that the Fayemi Administration is committed to a justice sector reform agenda that on one hand meets people’s expectations for a sustainable improvement in the quality of their lives while at the same time promotes fair and equal access to justice for all.
Delivering his Keynote Address at the National Conference of Network of Justice Sector Reform Teams which opened yesterday in the State, Fapohunda stressed that in Ekiti State, the reform of the administration of justice system is not simply a theoretical concept or one that is all about law and justice.
He said “It is for these reasons that the Fayemi administration since its inception embarked on some of the most radical review of the administration of justice system anywhere in Nigeria”
According to him “we have in many ways been able to reverse the cynicism that accompanies government efforts at reform and have been able to show that a government inspired programme of reform in the justice sector is possible where there is political will, commitment and subject matter appreciation from the highest level of government”
Fapohunda said that the Fayemi Administration has aggressively focused on three main interventions in the areas of Law Reform, Policy Change and Institutional Development. He said some of the Laws that were enacted include the Ekiti State Administration of Civil Justice Law 2019, the Ekiti State Property Protection (Anti Land Grabbing) Law 2019 and the Ekiti State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Law 2019 which provides a legal framework for the delivery of sustainable development goals to the People in a manner that is consistent with the electoral promises of the Administration.
The Attorney-General said that the State Government has overhauled its policy intervention is the area of Sexual and Domestic Violence. He added that the State Government have now reopened the Register of Sex Offenders and has introduced additional measures to ensure the effective prosecution and deterrence of sex offenders.
He stated that ” some of the additional measures that we seek to introduce include compulsory psychiatric tests for offenders in child defilement cases, ensuring that sex offenders do not benefit from Mr. Governor’s Powers of Prerogative of Mercy, pasting the pictures of convicted sex offenders in their communities and on the website of the Ministry of Justice”
Fapohunda also said that the State Government has placed high premium on the provision of career advancement opportunities for all those who work in the Ministry of Justice. He stressed that ” to achieve this in concrete terms we established the Ministry of Justice Academy. The First of its kind in Nigeria with a single mandate of ensuring that all those who work in the Ministry of Justice, Lawyers and Non-lawyers are given the opportunity to enhance their professional qualifications. We are particularly proud that the Ministry of Justice Academy has since its establishment being subject commendations from within and outside Nigeria.”
Fapohunda added that the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice will shortly publish Judgments of the State High Court and those of Palace Courts. In his words “recognizing the important role of traditional institutions in our State and the impact they have on justice delivery at the grassroots level, we have commenced the process of reporting our Palace Court Judgments. We envisage that reporting the Judgments of our traditional courts and making them publicly available will address the issue of openness, transparency and fairness that has frequently been raised with respect to proceedings in such courts”
The National Conference of Network of Justice Sector Reform Teams is a three day conference with Participants from government and non-government institutions