By Adekola Afolabi
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state yesterday expressed delight over various reforms and new ideas being introduced by the state Ministry of Justice.
The Governor said such ideas and reforms would enhance transparency in the government and help the judiciary in the state.
Akeredolu stated this on Thursday in Akure, the Ondo state capital while declaring open the seminar organized by the State Ministry of Justice for Law Officers and State Counsel held at the conference hall of the Ministry, emphasised that the new ideas and reforms are needed at this time to move the state forward.
The topic of the seminar was, “The requirements for prosecution of appeals and the skillful preparation of briefs before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, was the guest lecturer at the event.
He stressed the importance of the seminar, saying the 26 newly recruited Senior Legal Officers who were inducted but not introduced to the content of work in the seven departments and three agencies under the Ministry of Justice would have the opportunity of learning the rudiments of their jobs and expected duties.
The Governor further noted that cases are won in Courts largely on the strength of Counsels’ brief of Argument on behalf of Appellants or Respondents, hence the state counsels must properly equip and prepare themselves.
Akeredolu particularly commended the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr Charles Titiloye, noting he has done very well with a number of reforms brought in since he assumed office as Attorney General of the state.
Earlier, Mr. Titiloye, said the seminar was one of the several programmes and policies of Governor Akeredolu-led administration to train, equip and motivate the workforce of the state civil service towards better performance in delivery and execution of government policies.
According to him, for almost 20 years, such in-house training was not held in the Ministry of Justice, stressing that the seminar would deepen the understanding of law officers in the ministry.
He also revealed that the Ministry is working with the Law Commission to produce pocket laws for commercial sale to support the revenue drive of the government.
“As we all know, one of the core mandates of the Ministry of Justice is to initiate, defend and prosecute civil and criminal cases in Courts on behalf of the Government. To perform this role effectively, there is the need to regularly train and provide Continuing Legal Education platform for Lawyers in the Ministry of Justice.
” Appeals before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are won largely on the strength of Counsels’ Brief of Argument on behalf of Appellants or Respondents. Having read the briefs prepared by my colleagues in this Ministry, it has become imperative to improve on the standard.
“The Governor has graciously directed the constitution of the Board of Law Commission and Office of Public Defender. It is noteworthy that since the inception of the Office of Public Defender about 16 years ago, the board of the agency has not been constituted and it has impaired the optimal performance of the agency,” Titiloye revealed.