In order to maintain its leading position in the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria, the Edo State Government through the ministry of justice has held its inaugural stakeholders’ committee meeting on the draft bill to establish the state Citizens’ Rights and Dispute Resolution Agency.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting, the Honourable Commissioner for Justice and Attorney – General of the state, Hon. Oluwole Osazee – Uzzi, said the purpose of the draft bill is to give voice to the vulnerable in the society.

He further stated that the proposed bill is another avenue for the vindication of people’s rights, especially those who cannot afford lawyers.

According to the learned commissioner “how progressed or civilized a state is depends on how it treats its vulnerable since not everyone in the society can afford services of a lawyer”

He therefore urged participants at the one-day programme to brainstorm and look for ways to make the agency a robust establishment that would create an avenue for the less privileged in the society to ventilate their grievances.

On his part, the majority leader at the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Charity Aiguobarueghian averred that one of his major pursuits in life is the reform of law, adding that what the ministry intended to achieve by this bill was to bring humanity to bear in law enforcement.

Promising that whatever outcome of the day’s discourse will not just be a mere paper work discussion or resolution but will be transmitted into law, Hon. Aiguobarueghian assured of his readiness to lobby his colleagues at the floor of the House for its quick passage for the betterment of the Edo people.

He therefore boasted that the passage of the bill into law will further put Edo State at the forefront of making laws that are deepened in humanity.

On her part, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Gender issues, Barbara Osobanjo, canvassed the need for collaboration within ministries in the state to have an agency that caters to the needs of citizens as the surge in marital cases is on the increase daily.

In a brief remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Aigbavboa enjoined participants to make robust contributions and insightful feedback that would help with the actualization of the proposed bill.

Also speaking, the Director, Law Review Department and member of the proposed draft bill, Lilian Giwa – Amu said the establishment of the proposed Agency emanated from the tenet that everyone should have access to justice which is a fulcrum for the enforcement of human rights.

She added that the focus of the bill is on promoting, protecting and enforcing the rights of vulnerable people in the society, adding that there is going to be collaboration with some stakeholders to ensure successful establishment and functioning of the Agency for the benefit of Edo residents.

Highpoint of the programme was the presentation of the draft bill by the chairman of the committee, Charity Chris – Ebosele.

In the presentation, Ebosele read through all the sections of the bill while giving an overview of the provision.objectives and structure of the proposed bill.