By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has admonished state Attorneys-General and Commissioners for Justice to ensure that prosecutions move quickly.
The Vice President said it is important that the State Attorneys-General devote some time to improve the pace of cases in courts.
Professor Osinbajo stated this when he received in audience on Tuesday, six Attorneys-General and Commissioners of Justice from the southwest geopolitical zone that paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Attorney-Generals had briefed the Vice President on the progress of justice reforms in their various States.
They said many of the reforms were inspired by the successes recorded during his (Professor Osinbajo’s) stint as Lagos State Attorney-General.
The Vice President, who expressed delight at the visit commended them for what he described as the “great work” that has been done in the States, observing the wide range of areas being covered by the Justice Sector Reforms.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande stated that the Attorneys-General in separate remarks during the courtesy call praised the Vice Presiden’s efforts as Lagos State Attorney- General, attributing 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.
According to the statement, the presentations also included social protection objectives and improving the legal framework for enhancing the business environment in the States.
It stated that the Attorneys-General and Justice Commissioners were led on the visit by the Ekiti State Attorney-General, Mr Olawale Fapohunda.
Others were Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN; Ondo State Attorney-General, Sir Charles Titiloye; Oyo State Attorney-General, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Ogun State Attorney-General, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran; and his Osun State counterpart, Mr Olufemi Akande.
In his response, Professor Osinbajo urged the States’ chief law officers to leverage their network and individual positions to effect the desired changes in the justice sector.
Commending their efforts, the Vice President 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.”
He further said, “I think there is a need for us (especially at the state level), to ensure that prosecutions move quickly. It is important that we devote some time to how we can improve the pace of cases in our courts.”
Referring specifically to ongoing reform efforts in Lagos and other states, Lagos State Attorney General, Mr Onigbanjo, SAN 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, Professor Oyewo said, “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, Mr 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 commended the foundational justice reform works of Professor Osinbajo in Lagos State.
He said, “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.”