LAC HOLDS MANAGEMENT RETREAT
Repositioning Legal Aid Council for Better Service Delivery was the theme at the Management Retreat organised by the Legal Aid Council on Friday 13th – Saturday 14th September 2019. The Retreat took place at Reverton Hotels in Lokoja, Kogi State. In attendance were four (4) former Directors-General of the Council – Mrs Joy Bob-Manuel (2010 – 2018), Mrs Laticia Akinlami (2007 – 2010), Mrs Uju Hassan-Baba (1999 – 2007) and Mr. Victor Achike (1987-1991).
Representatives of the Governing Board – Ms. Eno-Obong Akpan, Mr. Hussaini Zakariyya, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi, Members of Management, Zonal Directors and State Coordinators of LAC also attended the Retreat. Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included the Hon. Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami SAN, Hon Justice Nasir Ajana the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Akeem Busari the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State, Mohammed Okpanachi representing the Attorney-General of Kogi, and Malachy Ohakim Controller Kogi State Correctional Services.
Mr. Aliyu B. Abubakar (DG LAC) in his opening speech appreciated the Hon Minister, Mr. Abubakar Malami for his support and for taking away from his busy schedule to come all the way to Lokoja for the Retreat. This was indeed a show of his commitment to LAC. He thanked the AG for approving the Access to Justice Fund as provided in the Legal Aid Act 2011.
The Chief Judge of Kogi State in his good will remarks expressed his delight in attending the event and said LAC was very active in Kogi and having just concluded his Prison Visit, he was glad to say that LAC represented quite a number of inmates.
The Commissioner of Police Kogi State, Representative of the AG Kogi and Controller Kogi Correctional Services also congratulated the Council on the Retreat and both testified to a cordial working relationship with LAC Kogi Office.
The Hon. Minister in his address stated that ‘the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to provide better life for down trodden Nigerians and one of the services that could be provided to them is unhindered access to justice of which Legal Aid Council stands for. As a result of the importance attached by this government for Legal Aid Council services, I personally decided to grace this occasion.’
He recognised the efforts of the past DGs and the founding fathers of the Council. He also stated that the Access to Justice Committee is on the verge of finishing its assignment and the formal launch of the Fund by the Ministry will soon take place. He said both Federal and State Governments as well as other public spirited organisations and individuals shall donate to the Fund. He said the Fund when operational will take care of most of the challenges faced by the Council.
He then declared the Retreat opened.
The 2-day Retreat continued with papers delivered by the former Director-Generals. Mrs Uju Hassan-Baba gave a paper titled ‘Legal Aid Council: The Way Forward’. Mrs Joy Bob-Manuel in a paper titled ‘My Legal Aid Council Experience with Donor Agencies: The Way Forward’ shared her experience with International Agencies and gave steps towards maintaining and enhancing such relationships.
Mrs Leticia Akinlami gave her advice and shared her experience in a paper titled ‘My Community Legal Aid Service Experience: the Way Forward.
Also present at the Retreat was Mr. Michael Awoponle and he also shared his experience and words of wisdom in a paper titled ‘Enhancing the Performance of Lawyers: The Way Forward’.
The National Coordinator SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, Dr. Uju Agomoh, Executive Director Prisoners Rehabilitation And Welfare Action (PRAWA) also attended the Retreat and took sessions wherein they gave lectures on Service Delivery as Foundation of People’s Trust in LAC and National Legal Aid Strategy (2017 – 2022) respectively.
Mr. Sam I. Ojeka gave the participants a lecture on Discipline and Appeal in the Public Service.
The DG LAC, Aliyu B. Abubakar spent quality time with the Zonal Directors and State Coordinators in a brainstorming session where problems were identified and solutions proffered leaving the staff quite thrilled at the end of the Retreat.