The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday reiterated its commitment to assisting the Osun government to develop a strategic approach which would ensure effective justice delivery.
The Deputy Coordinator of UNDOC, Mr Edwin Berry, said this in Osogbo during the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop on justice sector reform.
Berry said the workshop was organised by UNODC in conjunction with the European Union as a necessary means of enhancing good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
He said the workshop was also aimed at effective coordination and cooperation among justice sector institutions with an enhanced legal and policy frame work.
Berry, who noted that UNDOC was the United Nation agency entrusted with the mandate to assist member states tackle corruption, illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.
“As part of the mandate , UNDOC provides technical assistance in the area of justice sector reform globally, including several years in Nigeria, and has built up a knowledge base of successful practices in these areas,’’ he said.
Berry said Osun was particularly important in the area of judicial reform, adding that it had set a national example in being the only state that already had a reform plan developed by the government.
He said the development of an action plan was timely, especially in terms of linking with activities from the reform plan, particularly those concerning protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Earlier in his remarks, the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo, said the workshop was necessary as a means of occasional review of strategy as well as internal and external assessment of personnel and tools available to the judiciary for optimum service delivery.
Represented by Justice Jide Falola, Ojo said the workshop would also expose participants to modern techniques in order to sharpen their skills and motivate them to perform effectively.
He, however, said it was rather unfortunate that the judiciary was the most poorly funded of the three arms of government nationwide.
While commending the Osun government for providing a conducive atmosphere for the judiciary, Ojo lauded UNDOC for making the state one of its seven focal states in the country.
Mr Wale Afolabi, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said government was passionate about reforming the criminal justice system in the state.
Afolabi said government was also improving on the speedy acceleration of justice as well as improve the welfare package for judges and magistrates in the state.
Mr Ibrahim Lawal, the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Rauf Aregbesola on Legal Matters, said progress was being made in the justice delivery system.