By Msue Aza, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has partnered the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies to train its lawyers as part of the state ongoing judicial reforms embarked upon by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s administration for quick dispensation of justice.
Chris Umar, the State’s Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Justice, said the two day training, which is titled “Advanced Course on Practice and Procedure”, is aimed at enhancing State Lawyer’s capacity to reposition them to deliver legal support that the various agencies of government desired.
Umar said: “This training is all about increasing the capacity of our lawyers so that they can become better lawyers. We are training about 50 lawyers in this first round of training and the curriculum covers every aspect of the law; Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Alternative Dispute Resolution and even Elections Petitions.”
“One of the things we expect is that we are going to have lawyers who are better mediators because they are going to be trained in alternative dispute resolutions. We expect to have lawyers who will be better conflict managers, settlers of disputes and lawyers who will be better prosecutors.”
“This is not the first time we are engaging the Institute of Advance Legal Studies, but this is the first time we are bringing them all the way from Lagos to Kaduna to train this number of lawyers. It is unprecedented and it has never happened in the history of Kaduna State.” Umar added.
Prof. Adedeji Adekunle, the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and one of the facilitators, said the institute has redesigned its curriculum to make it location specifics to answer to the particular needs of the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice.
The DG said Kaduna State Government under Governor Nasir El-Rufai deserves commendation for building lawyers capacity in the State.
Prof.Adekunle, who is also Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also disclosed that the institute trained about 2,000 lawyers annually on advanced practice, procedures and among other areas.
Adekunle said: “This kind of activity should be encouraged. There is no substitute to experience and the only way to share experience is through learning and when you have programmes like this where we bring season experts in this aspect of the law to come and bring law officers is bound to rub off positively in their careers”.
“We have had weeks of discussion with the Solicitor General of the State, Mr Chris Umar and the Ministry generally on those topics that are going to impact positively on the work they are doing and on the ground-breaking changes and reforms that are going on in Kaduna State.
“What the training will do is to give the participants the opportunity to interact with experts on particular issues and to bring out to the table issues that are either of existing concerns or that could have potential impact on their work because what we do here is very interactive. We give enough room for interaction, so it is a problem solving approach that we are trying to do.” Prof. Adekunle said.
Abakasa Yohana, a Counsel with Kaduna State Ministry of Justice and one of the participants, said: “The impact of this training cannot be undermined because one of the lectures we took was on elections petitions and we know that elections petitions are very fundamental to a democratic government like the one we are in now in Nigeria. We know that 2019 is close and we know that our ministry will be flooded with many elections petitions. So with such trainings we will be better equipped to handle such cases that would come to us in the future.” Yohana noted.