The Lagos State Government, through the Public Advice Centre (PAC), has advised all residents to take advantage of the free advisory and referral services provided by PAC and other agencies in the State Ministry of Justice.
The Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-bey stated this on Wednesday during the flag-off of the sensitisation and enlightenment campaign of PAC to Amu and Ojuwoye markets axis in Mushin, Lagos State. She noted that the sensitisation programme is to educate the citizenry about the activities of the Centre as it relates to legal issues.
According to her, “Today’s event is to sensitise the public about the existence of the Public Advice Centre (PAC) and its advisory and referral roles to the public on judicial issues.
The Solicitor-General also stated that PAC was not only established to advise the public on how to interact with Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDA) but also on how to interface on behalf of the people with the MDAs.
Shitta-Bey further reiterated that advocacy, education, information and access to Justice are what prompted the enlightenment campaign and enjoined residents to take advantage of the various agencies created by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice for dispute resolution and prompt dispensation of Justice.
The Director, Lagos State Public Advice Centre (PAC), Mrs. Husseina Akinnawo, in her address, implored all Lagos residents to embrace and explore alternative dispute resolution as their first choice in resolving issues within their communities.
Akinnawo stated that the agency embarked on the enlightenment campaign to create awareness for the advisory and referral responsibilities of the Centre, noting that various alternative dispute resolution processes are available and accessible to all residents, especially the indigent and vulnerable in the five divisions of the State.
Also speaking on the rise of domestic cases in court, the Director noted that if residents are properly informed, some of the cases will not end up in court.
“This is exactly why we continue to embark on intensive sensitisation campaigns to further enlighten residents about the existence of alternative dispute resolution channels such as the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC); Office of the Public Defender (OPD); Directorate of Citizens Rights (DCR); Public Advice Centre (PAC), Multi-Door Court House and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA)”, the Director stated.
She further noted that in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda of the present administration, some of the complaints treated by the Centre as a result of the various enlightenment programmes led to the state government interventions, especially as it relates to social amenities.
She commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his support in enhancing the capacity of the Ministry of Justice to deliver its mandate, pointing out that better collaboration among State Mediation Agencies has greatly impacted the Administration of Justice in Lagos State.
On the success of the campaign, Akinnawo stated that the Centre will continue to leverage traditional media platforms as well as the social media for its enlightenment campaign in order for people to know more about the various alternative dispute resolution programmes that have been provided by the State Government.
Akinnawo invited members of the public to visit the Public Advice Centre Ikeja office to register complaints and seek legal advice on issues, saying “We are also giving residents the opportunity to access our services 24 hours daily through our social media platforms”.