Newly-appointed Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem has pledged the continuous cooperation and support of the Executive for the Judiciary in a bid to promote efficient and speedy administration of Justice and the Rule of Law.
Kazeem made the pledge when he led top management staff of his Ministry on a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade on Wednesday.
He said the meeting was aimed at setting the tone for a cordial relationship between the judiciary and the executive arms of government, adding that that the judiciary is an important arm of government and essential for the operation of the principle of Separation of Powers.
Recognizing the vital role of the judiciary both as an arm of the government and in dispensation of Justice, the Attorney General advocated the need to bridge the gap between both arms of government, just as he promised to address some of the challenges encountered by the judiciary in effective administration of justice and seek means of finding lasting solutions.
Responding, the Chief Judge said the Judiciary arm is looking forward to a good working relationship with the state government.
She however listed some concerns limiting the arm of government including the need for fiscal independence of the Judiciary, effective transportation of accused persons to court, physical state of the Courts with attention on rehabilitation and completion of some projects, appointment of facility managers for courts, social workers for Family Courts, and other issues relating to appointment of Court Administrator.
At the meeting, the need to open the channel of communication where challenges will be discussed was brought to fore.
Other areas the meeting touched include prosecution of criminal matters, prompt assignment and hearing of criminal cases, provision of court interpreters, and use of information technology in enhancing access to justice delivery.
In a similar development, the Attorney General also met with the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, where he canvassed the need to embrace technology in the prosecution of Criminal matters as well as foster cooperation and means of tackling some security challenges of the State.
Commending the efforts of the Nigerian Police, Lagos Command, Kazeem stressed the need to have a standing Committee between the State Government and the Lagos Police Command with a view to having regular meetings and open the channel of communication with the Police.
The meeting touched on several crucial areas including embracing technology in prosecution of Criminal matters, Statements taking Procedure, Remand proceedings, Police prosecution of Sexual Offences, Verification of bail particulars, Transfer of Investigating Police Officers, “IPOs” Training of IPOs, and Challenges with Forensic investigation, use and improvement of Information Technology and electronic database, and Collaboration with Ministry of Justice Investigatory Advisory Unit.
In response, the Commissioner of Police said that the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase has directed that the police embrace new trends in an effort to enhance its operations.
He listed some of the areas of interest to include community policing, knowledge based policing, Criminal Justice in Training, electronic recording.