The Directorate for Citizens Right a department in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice is responsible for implementing the State Government policy in providing access to justice, quick and free to all residents of Lagos State via Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The Directorate has several Units. This is aimed at Ensuring that service is effectively provided to residents of Lagos State.
The Units are:
- Human Rights Protection Unit
- Consumer Protection Unit
- One Stop Child Justice Centre/ Child Rights Team
- Prison Watch Unit
- Task Force
- HIV/AIDS Response Team
- Public Interest Defence Team
GOALS OF THE DIRECTORATE FOR CITIZENS’ RIGHTS
To be the public legal service provider that enforce the Law and defends the rights of indigents resident in Lagos State.
OBJECTIVE OF THE DIRECTORATE FOR CITIZENS RIGHTS
The general objective of the Directorate, is to actively raise the awareness of the indigents in Lagos State on their fundamental rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and encourage/increase consumer consciousness and also create a veritable tool for citizen’s to express their fear’s and expectations.
Members include representatives of the Office of the Public Defender, Directorate for Citizens’ Rights, Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Mirabel Centre), the Media (Channels TV and the Punch), Ministry of Health, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Office of Youth and Social Development and Chief of Staff Office’s involved in the fight against sexual and Gender based violence crimes.
The vision of the team is to produce an end to end process that contributes, and if possible eradicates domestic violence and sexual violence in the State.
- To reduce social tolerance of domestic violence and sexual violence
- Create awareness about the ills of sexual and gender based violent crimes
- Provide consultation, education and facilities training services to the police prosecutors and social welfare officers or any other Agency that is involved in
- Review policies and laws on sexual and gender based violent offences.
Partners of the team include LAMAT, BRT, LASAA, BOND FM, EKO FM, RADIO LAGOS AND LTV.
- The compilation of the first ever statistics of performance of the stakeholders of the One Stop Child Justice Centre which was included in the Draft Lagos State Child and Family Welfare System Manual, compiled by UNICEF in conjunction with USAID, HOPE World Wide Nigeria, and Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
- Increase in settlement of employee/employer disputes including a settlement of Three Million Naira (N3million) to an employee of CCECC Nig. Limited who suffered an industrial accident that claimed his right arm while in the employ of the company.
- Harmonised prison visits by the Joint Prison Watch Team comprising officers of the Citizen’s Right, officers of the Office of the Public Defender and Community Service to Badagry Prisons, Kirikiri, Maximum,Medium and Female Prisons.
- Smooth and regular meetings of the Public Interest Defence Team.
- Speedier resolution of walk-in complaints.
- The Directorate has over the years ensured that negligent/nonchalant father’s, uphold their parental responsibilities to their children and wife, in line with the Law’s of Lagos State e.g. providing accommodation, education, school fee’s,e.t.c.
- The department have been able to recover children in the custody of person’s who legally ought not to have them. A particular case, of note was where a young lady pregnant out of wedlock confided in her mother’s friend for safety. The supposed mother’s friend ended up claiming the pregnancy for her son. The office was able to reclaim the child for the rightful mother after three years in court.
- With respect to unhealthy condiments been found in bottled soft drinks and beverages. The Directorate within the last 7 years, have been able to uphold the rights of complainants, manufacturer became more health conscious and unhealthy product line’s changed.
- The provision of a veritable access and forum for complaint like the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights and “Mo gbe jo mi de” which has one of our counsel on the panel, has contributed to the peace and tranquility we enjoy in families, society and community in Lagos State.
- Also Eight Million Naira (N8,000,000.00)was obtained on behalf of a petitioner, who was a civil servant. The Insurance company refused to release this sum to her, however with the intervention the Directorate’s she was paid.
- The Directorate was able to reclaim total sum of(N118,907, 226.00) One Hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred Seventy Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-six Naira only on be of petitioners between 2013 -2015
OFFICERS IN THE DIRECTORATE
- Mrs. O.I. Adesina – Director
- Mrs. O. Rotimi – Director
- Mrs. ArinolaOgbara-Arowolo – Deputy Director
- Mrs.OlayinkaOyelade – Asst. Chief State Counsel