The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Uko Essien Udom, SAN has promised to support the eight point agenda of the Ememobong Nicholas Udo led Executives of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Uyo Branch.
The Attorney General made the pledge during a courtesy visit to his office by the NBA branch Executives and some elders of the Branch.
In his address the NBA Chairman stated that the purpose of their visit was to among other things, introduce the new leadership of the Branch to the Attorney General and interact with him on issues relevant to the NBA branch, the rule of law and Justice delivery in the State. He identified specifically, the eight point agenda of his executive for which they seek the AG’s support as follows:
- Full implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in the State, describing the delay in the implementation of the law as falling short of the usual standards of speed, foresight and proactive zest which Acts of the Federal Parliament have been domesticated and implemented in the State to aid in the speedy dispensation of Criminal Justice;
- Amendment of Akwa Ibom State Customary Court Law to allow for the representation of litigants by qualified Legal Practitioners;
- The establishment of Customary Court of Appeal in Akwa Ibom State to decongest the State High Courts and ensure speedy dispensation of justice;
- The establishment of a Court of Appeal Division in Akwa Ibom State, owing to the deplorable condition of Calabar-Itu Federal Highway and the fact that the avalanche of cases pending at the Court of Appeal Division in Calabar emanates from Akwa Ibom State;
- Online publication of the Laws of Akwa Ibom State to aid students, lawyers, Magistrates, Judges and the general public in legal research and documentation;
- Improving the welfare of lawyers through sponsorship to conferences, capacity building trainings in areas of law such as Maritime, Aviation, Oil and Gas, Energy, Taxation and other emerging areas;
- Recruitment of lawyers into Ministries, Departments, Agencies of Government and into the 31 Local Government Councils in the State to unburden the Ministry of Justice, while ensuring employment, especially for the new wigs;
- Completion of the Uyo Bar Secretariat project under the tenure of the Attorney General, amongst other requests.
The Bar Chairman also took the opportunity to present to the AG the Bill of Quantity for the Uyo Bar Secretariat.
In response, the Attorney General thanked the Executive Committee for the visit and promised to work closely with the Bar to actualise all the issues highlighted.
Other stakeholders present at the meeting which took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Justice Headquarters were the Solicitor General & Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Directors of Public Prosecution, Civil Litigation, and Sexual & Gender based Violence Response Department, in the Ministry of Justice, respectively; and the Principal State Counsel in the office of the Attorney General.
On behalf of the elders of the NBA branch, Ekpa B. Ekpa, Esq. and Ekanem Ekanem, Esq., respectively appreciated the AG for his warm reception and pledge to support the Bar.