Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the Federal Government is determined to ensure that every Nigerian, especially the downtrodden, has unfettered access justice.
Malami disclosed this on Friday, September 13, while declaring open, a two-day Management Retreat for management and state heads of Legal Aid Council (LAC) Nigeria, themed, “Repositioning Legal Aid Council for Better Service” at Riverton Hotel, Lokoja.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to ensure a better life for Nigerians by providing such services as would enhance unhindered access to justice which in the first place, informed the establishment of the Legal Aid Council.
“This retreat is coming at a time when the country needs to ensure that every Nigerian has unhindered access to Justice. The Legal Aid Council has a lot of role to play in this regard and as such, needs to be well-positioned for the task ahead.
“I am aware of the challenges being faced by the Council, created in 1976 to provide free legal services to poor Nigerians who cannot afford the services of private legal practitioners.
“Most of the challenges scaled down basically to inadequate funding, and l have approved the establishment of the “Legal Aid Access to Justice Fund.”
“The approval, for the establishment of the Fund, is in line with the provisions of Legal Aid Act, 2011 and it will entail a formal launching by the Ministry with Federal and State Governments, public-spirited organisations and individuals donating to the Fund.
“I am optimistic that when it becomes operational, most of the challenges will be resolved and this will greatly assist the council in its operations,’’ he said.
Director-General of the Council, Abubakar Aliyu, held that LAC had a long history spanning over 40 years of service to indigent Nigerians in the administration of Justice and had achieved some level of success.
Aliyu stated that the management retreat, the first of its kind in the history of the Council, was intended to look at the state of affairs in the council to proffer holistic solutions and reposition the council for better service delivery in the years ahead.
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