The Delta State Ministry of Justice as a statutory Ministry of
Government is key to the successful implementation of governmental
policies and programmes as it provides the necessary legal framework
and advice for Government to achieve its overall objectives.
The Ministry of Justice as a service oriented delivery Ministry is
crucial to the formulation of formidable legal instruments to drive
the SMART agenda and the prosperity for all Deltans vision of the
Senator Dr. IfeanyiOkowa’s administration.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is empowered by
Section 195 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria as (amended) where he derives his powers from as the Chief Law
Officer of the State Government. The Attorney-General works with the
Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary and with other Officers in the
Ministry in performing the statutory functions conferred on the
Ministry by law.
The functions of the Ministry include:
• Rendering of Legal advice to Government Ministries, Departments and
• Drafting of Bills and Regulations
• Handling of litigations by or against Government in tax and revenue matters
• Criminal Prosecutions
• Perform the functions of Administrator General and Public Trustee
• Law Reporting, Review, Research and Publication
• Drafting and vetting of contractual agreements and memorandum of
understanding between Government and its contractors, other levels of
Government, International Agencies and Multinational Corporations
• Non-Adversarial dispute Resolution through reconciliation,
arbitration and mediation
• Promotion and Protection of Human Rights including the child’s right
Under the Senator Dr. IfeanyiOkowa’s administration, the Ministry of
Justice has received tremendous overhaul to deliver on its core
mandate and serve as a vehicle to drive and provide a solid legal
framework for the successful implementation of the SMART agenda of the
government as well as the entrenchment of law and order, good
governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Delta
THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
The desire of the State Government to prevent crime and promote peace
and security has also manifested in the vigorous reform process of the
various aspects of our Criminal Jurisprudence, both substantive and
procedural. To this end, the State is in the process of domesticating
the Administration of Criminal Justice Act into a Law of the State. A
committee made up of eminent jurists, scholars and lawyers are
presently working on the reform of our laws and are currently
reviewing the Criminal Justice aspect of it. The Delta State Justice
Sector Reform Committee was inaugurated by His Excellency, the
Governor, Senator Dr. IfeanyiOkowa in a formal ceremony on the 5th day
of May, 2015 at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba. A public
hearing on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law took place on
Tuesday 9th of August, 2016 at the State House of Assembly. It is
hoped that with the passage of the Bill into law, our Criminal
Procedure Law will experience its first major reform since 1945 and
this will speed up the justice delivery process and make the state
more attractive to investors.
Below are some of the legal instruments initiated by the Executive arm
of government through the Ministry of Justice for the law and order
and good governance of the State.
S/N EXECUTIVE BILLS STATUS
1. A bill for a Law to amend the Delta State Economic Planning Council
Law, 2008 Passed
2. A bill for a Law to prohibit Terrorism, cultism and the use of
bombs and other explosives and for other matters connected
3. A bill for a Law to provide for the establishment, composition and
functions of an Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy and for
Purposes Connected therewith Passed
4. A bill for a Law to establish the Delta State Investments
Development Agency with responsibility for the Regulation and
Administration of Investments in Infrastructural Development through
Public Private Partnership and other Matters Connected therewith
5. A bill for a Law to establish the Delta State Scholarship Board and
for Matters Connected thereto
6. A bill for a Law to establish the Delta State Signage and
Advertisement Agency for the Regulation of Outdoor Structures of
Advertisement and for other matters Connected thereto Passed
7. A bill for a Law to prohibit kidnapping, hostage taking and for
other matters connected thereto The Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law
2016 has very novel provisions as it seeks to punish all those
involved with the commission of the offence including conspirators,
those who aid and abet the Kidnappers, owners of properties used to
house victims and telecommunication companies which refuse to assist
in the investigation of the matter. Victims of the offence who refuse
to testify during the trial of accused persons are also liable to be
punished. The stringent provisions of this Law will send the required
signal that the State takes its responsibilities to provide security
for its citizenry and investors seriously.
8. A bill for a Law to repeal the Delta State College of Physical
Education Mosogar Law, 2002
9. A bill for a Law to provide for the Collection Of Haulage fees from
Lorries, Trailers and Truck Operators in Delta State and for other
matters connected thereto
10. A bill for a Law to provide for the Collection of Metal/Steel
Scraps from vehicles operators, the registration of Scraps Vendors
operating within Delta State and for other Matters Connected thereto
11. A bill for a Law to amend the Privatization and Commercialization
Law, 1994 Cap p.12 Vol. IV Laws of Delta State, 2008
12. A bill for a Law to Regulate the Retirement Age of State-owned
Tertiary Institutions in the State and for other Matters Connected
13. A bill for a Law to Repeal the Delta State Property Tax Law, Cap
D38 Laws of Delta State and Enact a Law to Provide for the levying and
Collection of Land Charge and for Purposes Connected therewith
14. A bill for a Law to Amend the Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Law, 2016 Passed
15. A bill for a Law to Repeal the Delta State Peace and Vigilante
Commission Law, 2013 and to Enact a bill for a Law to Establish the
Delta State Peace and Vigilante Commission and for other Matters
16. A bill for a Law to Repeal the Public Procurement Commission Law,
2008 and to Enact the Delta State Public Procurement Commission Law,
17 A bill for a Law to Amend the Traditional Rulers Council and Chiefs
Law, 2006 in respect of the Ukwata of Umukwata
18. A bill for a Law to Repeal the Advisory Council on Prerogative of
Mercy Law, and to enact the Delta State Advisory Council on
Prerogative of Mercy Law, 2016 Passed
MoUS ENTERED INTO BY DELTA STATE GOVERNMENT
These MoUs govern Government’s relationship with the aforementioned
Institutions/Bodies and to create obligations, responsibilities and to
provide an avenue for further contractual legal obligations if and
when the need arises.
1. Delta State Government and Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company
(NMRC) (An MoU to establish an enabling environment through
collaboration that will address the key barrier of access to finance
to developing accessible and affordable housing in Delta State which
will set a growth process in motion that will deliver affordable
houses to Deltans)
2. Delta State Government and North China Railway
(AnMoU to execute various infrastructural projects ranging from World
Class Office Projects to Erosion Control, Urban Renewal etc)
3. Delta State Government and Darcano Integrated Services Ltd and
Al’Huda Properties Ltd.
(AnMoU to build a Commercial City in Asaba)
4. Federal Government of Nigeria and Delta State Government
(AnMoU to provide for a National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP)
involving cash transfers to poor and vulnerable Nigerians in order to
reduce the increasing rate of poverty.)
5. Delta State Government and Digital Gaming Systems Ltd.
(AnMoU establishing a State owned lottery to improve revenue
generation in the State and provide employment/entertainment platform
for residents of Delta State.)
6. Delta State Government and Mobile Software Solutions Ltd and Consortium
(AnMoU to establish an ICT based on PPP alliance to drive development
to the different sectors of the State).
7. Delta State Government and Yutai Li Nigeria Limited.
(AnMoU to provide sustainable solar power generation which is to be
located between Umunede and Otolokpo).
8. Delta State Government and Alpha Energy and Electric. Inc. & Groups.
(AnMoU aimed at performing detailed technical due diligence to
identify probable locations, size, technology and initial cost of
power generation plants).
9. Delta State Government and Samsung Electronics.
(AnMoU to equip an ICT Centre to train 50 teachers who will in turn
train other teachers on Information Technology).
10. Delta State Government and Cosmopolitan.
(An MoU to build a 200 bed Hospital)
11. Delta State Government and Multichoice Nigeria Ltd.
(AnMoU to provide virtual learning in classrooms with the aid of
12. Delta State Government and Nigeria Institute of Medical Research
(AnMoU to establish a research Centre in Delta State).
13. Delta State Government and Federal Government of Nigeria
(AnMoU to establish an incubation centre in Warri).
The Ministry of Justice through the Department of Public Prosecutions
receive criminal case files from the Police Criminal Investigation
Department, and the Magistrate Courts for rendering of legal advice on
all criminal matters, take over and prosecutes criminal cases at the
trial and Appellate Courts and when given a fiat by the Federal
Attorney-General, it can also prosecute Federal offences.
From May 29th, 2015 to 7th of September, 2016 the Ministry of Justice
through the Department of Public Prosecutions received and rendered a
total of 1810 (one thousand and eight hundred and ten) legal opinions
and secured over 30 convictions on cases of armed robbery, kidnapping,
rape, murder amongst others.
DEPARTMENT OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS IN THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE.
It is worthy of note that before the passage of the Multi-door
Courthouse Law 2012, in the year 2000, the Government through the
Ministry of Justice in its effort to carry out one of its cardinal
responsibilities of facilitating just, peaceful and speedy resolution
of disputes between persons or between Government or authority and
persons with respect to all matters in the State, set up the
Department of Peoples Rights vide an EXCO Conclusion E.C. (2000) 22.
The Department is to provide an alternative to the traditional Court
System for dispute resolution.
The hitherto wholesale reliance only on the conventional court-based
litigation system with its attendant limitations of technicality, high
costs, delays and its unpredictability had in no small measure made
the option less attractive to litigants and persons with one grouse or
the other with their fellow individuals or with government or its
institutions. In addition the court-based litigation option does not
admit of all types of grievances being limited to justiciable
grievances and disputes arising from a breach of right or duty that is
legally recognizable and enforceable.
There was no place for non-justiciable grievances/ which by our
recent experience in the Niger Delta forms the bulk of dispute between
individuals and Host communities, Companies and Government. This
lacuna only promoted recourse to violence and self-help as a ready
means for the settlement of disputes. As is obvious most of these
conflicts are economic related and as such generate a lot of tension
and emotion which impedes communication and fruitful dialogue. The
alternative dispute resolution option will provide a forum for
aggrieved persons to ventilate these grievances unhindered. Expense
and cost will also be saved and most importantly previous
relationships and trust between the parties are maintained.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution centre in the State Ministry of
Justice called the Department of Peoples Rights has the authority to
use alternative dispute resolution in the following areas:
(i) Disputes between Companies and host Communities:
To provide a rational basis for resolving this category of dispute
every major company shall be required to negotiate and execute a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its host community or
communities. The MoU shall set out the social responsibilities of the
respective parties as negotiated by them. The MoU shall be attested to
by the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice by
franking and a copy shall be deposited with the Department for the
purpose of monitoring its implementation and settling any disputes
that may arise therefrom between the parties.
(ii) Common dispute between Landlords and Tenants:
This category of disputes usually creates insecurity of tenure with
its attendant social problems for the tenant and his family. Security
of tenure is a necessary ingredient of social stability, required for
peaceful disposition in any society.
(iii) Cases of Violation of Human Rights:
One of the constitutional responsibilities of the government is the
protection of the human rights of the individual. The responsibility
is carried out by the Ministry of Justice and the Department of
Peoples Rights is to help the Ministry become more rights sensitive
and responsive to the legal needs of the disadvantaged in particular.
(iv) Dispute between Employers and Employees
There is a need to create industrial harmony in the State and the
Department employs every method of dispute resolution to maintain
(v) Any Other Dispute:
Any other type of dispute that may be referred to the Department by
the Governor or any Commissioner from time to time.
(vi) Public Enlightenment Campaigns:
The Department is also authorized to undertake public enlightenment
campaigns to educate our people on the criminality of the prevalent
anti-social conducts such as extortion, kidnapping, riots, youth
hooliganism, mob action with their attendant criminal undertone.
In the discharge of its functions the department is to collaborate
with relevant civil society groups such as non-governmental
organizations, the private bar and other interested parties to provide
greater efficiency and access to justice for all particularly the
disadvantaged. The Department, within the period under review,
received 452 (four hundred and fifty-two) cases, resolved 150 (one
hundred and fifty) of the cases, 50 (fifty) were abandoned by the
complainants while 215 (Two hundred and fifteen) are still pending.
This administration has invested massively in capacity building
initiatives so as to ensure that the Department of People’s Rights
perform its duties, particularly in the area of ensuring that
Companies that invest in our State are provided a conducive
environment to carry out their businesses without disturbance from
Host Communities. A conducive environment to do business is a great
incentive for investors to do business in Delta State. These
Training of lawyers in the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution
mechanisms. Over 60 Mediators and 15 Arbitration Experts have been
trained by this administration.
Provision of laptop Computers fitted with professional legal software
and internet connectivity for lawyers in the Ministry. This will
ensure that our lawyers spread across the state are competent and well
trained to address the needs of Investors across the State on any
Community-Company challenges that may arise.
Creation of 25 Mediation Centers across the State by this
administration. The Ministry of Justice presently has a Mediation
Centre at Asaba, however in view of the several requests for our
services across the State, it became imperative to increase the number
of such Centres. This will ensure a rapid response time to the needs
of investors or companies operating in the State who have issues with
their Host Communities and their employees. The need to come to Asaba
is therefore eliminated.
Creation of Zonal Offices across the State: In a bid to make justice
accessible to all indigenes, residents and investors, the Ministry of
Justice within the period under review established three (3) new Zonal
offices in the state to prosecute criminal matters, commercial
disputes, civil claims, etc within the respective zones. The zones
include:Ogwashi-Uku/Ibusa Zone was created within the period under
review and it covers Aniocha South Local Government Area and part of
Oshimili North Local Government Area. The office is situated at
Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area.
Akukwu-Igbo/ Issele-Uku also created under this administration covers
part of Oshimili North and the entire Aniocha North Local Government
Area. The office is located at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local
Government Area and;
Asaba Zonal Office was also recently created in response to the
compelling need to deal with cases in Oshimilli South Local Government
Area (the State Capital)
The creation of the various zonal offices has impacted hugely on the
access to justice in the State.
The Policy of the Ministry of Justice to insert Dispute Resolution
Clauses in all Commercial Contract agreements between the State and
its Investors is aimed at ensuring that ADR is attempted as a first
option in resolving disputes.
1. Renovation of Ministry of Justice Headquarter buildings to make it
more befitting and conducive
2. Provision of over 230 laptops equipped with e-library (Law
Pavilion) for lawyers and non-legal Officers. This is the first time
ever since the creation of the State that the Ministry has taken such
bold initiative to equip lawyers and non-legal staff with this number
of equipment and tools aimed at increasing productivity and better
3. Provision of modern office furniture. When we came into office, we
discovered that there was a dearth of office furniture including
chairs and tables for officers to carry out their assigned duties
which prompted us to order for modern workstations installed in most
of the offices.
4. Within the period under review, the Ministry developed and launched
its official website www.deltastateministryofjustice.com.ngwhere
stakeholders and investors could easily access vital information about
the Ministry, its operations and innovations especially in the
following areas; Laws of Delta State, Legal Reforms, enforcement of
law and justice delivery, criminal prosecutions, ADR practice, bills,
legal instruments for the ease of doing business in the State, rule of
law and good governance etc.
5. Provision of Internet Connectivity
6. Refurbishment of over 5 abandoned official vehicles
7. Provision of air conditioners
8. Provision of photocopiers
The Ministry is currently reviewing all criminal case files to ensure
that nobody is remanded in prison custody undergoing trial is punished
unjustly. The ongoing process is also aimed at decongesting Federal
Prison facilities in the State.
The State Governor His Excellency, Senator Dr. IfeanyiOkowa, has
signed into law the Delta State Council on Prerogative of Mercy, bill
2016 passed by the Delta State House of Assembly and forwarded to him
for his assent and I am pleased to announce to you that very soon the
names of the Chairman and Members of the Committee will be announced
and constituted by the State Governor. The Council will advise the
Governor in exercise of his constitutional powers of prerogative of
mercy to grant amnesty to deserving prisoners in the State as part of
measures to decongest the already overcrowded prisons.
PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT CAMPAIGN
(i.) Within the period under review, the Ministry initiated a Public
Enlightenment Programme on TV known as Justice Half Hour. The
programme is aimed at creating public awareness for members of the
public to respect the laws of the land and also to highlight the role
of the Ministry of Justice in promoting peace and security, the rule
of law and good governance in the State.
(ii.) The 30 minutes educative programme is also aimed at promoting
the spirit of patriotism and encourage our people to exercise their
civic responsibilities of reporting activities of criminals as well as
encourage witnesses in matters pending in Court to willingly come
forward to give evidence during trials against accused person. It is
also designed to create public confidence in the minds of our people
to join hands with Government in fighting crime and the prosecution of
Within the period under review, we also undertook giant and positive
steps towards restructuring the operations of the Ministry for
effective and efficient service delivery which include;
1. Creation of Appeals Unit to take care of all appellate matters
before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court
2. Creation of the Domestic Violence, Rape and Defilement Unit to
handle alarming and rising cases of violence against women in some
parts of the State
3. Deployment of over 30 DESOPADEC Lawyers to the Ministry through His
Excellency’s approval to boost the Ministry’s capacity to meet up with
rising needs of the State Government and its MDAs
4. Creation of three additional Zonal Offices
I wish to thank His Excellency, the Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa
for his unflinching support for the Justice Sector especially the area
of Justice Reforms aimed at revolutionizing the administration of the
Justice delivery system in the state. He is a firm advocate of the
rule of law and has continued to pursue with vigour his promise to
Deltans that his administration will be irrevocably committed to the
principles of equity, fairness and justice. We promise to continue to
carry out our statutory responsibilities with the fear of God and with
a deep sense of duty to our people.
We thank you for listening. God bless you all.
Peter Mrakpor Esq.
Honourable Attorney-General &
Commissioner for Justice, Delta State