L-R: Prof John Obafunwa; Director (OPD) Mrs Bukola Salami, (Middle), L/S Chief Judge Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke, SG/PS Ministry of Justice, Mrs Funlola Odunlami, Justice Adamson and John Lore with other Faculty members of NITA 2017 at the closing ceremony of the 5-day training on forensic evidence & expert training organised by the OPD in collaboration with NITA held at the OPD Headquarters in Surulere, Lagos at the weekend.

…As Lagos CJ seeks extension of training to the State Judiciary

The five-day training on Forensic Evidence and Expert Witness ended in Lagos at the weekend, with the skills of 70 lawyers of the Office of the Public Defender, OPD, sharpened for effective practice.

The training was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice through the OPD in collaboration with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, (NITA) USA on “Forensic Evidence And Expert Witness” in Lagos.

Chief Judge, CJ, of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, at the closing ceremony said that the state government will continue to explore profitable partnerships both locally and internationally in its quest to inspire the confidence of its legal officers and also improve their capacity as defence counsels for the common man.

The Chief Judge who described the training experience as an eye opener and initiative that would further expand the reach of justice delivery across the State also called on the NITA, the partnering institute to extend the partnership gesture to judges at the State Judiciary.

She expressed confidence that the training had further exposed the beneficiaries to how to evaluate evidences and prove the innocence or guilt of of their clients with high sense of professionalism.

Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami said that training offered by NITA would also complement activities at the Forensic Centre established by the State Government, especially in ensuring that innocent persons were not unduly punished while criminals were also made to pay for their wrong doings.

The permanent Secretary advised the beneficiaries of the training to allow the knowledge acquired from the international partners translate into increased access to the legal services offered by the Office of Public Defender to the common man.

Justice Ann Williams, Faculty Leader of NITA, 2017 Team, pleaded with the legal officers to ensure that justice in Lagos State becomes widely spread, saying that the main goal of the Institute was targeted at defending the defenseless and the vulnerable members of the society.

Top government officials and NITA officials cutting the cake

“What binds us together is the drive to represent our clients with the expected high standard and promote the course of justice for those who cannot easily afford the cost of hiring lawyers, hence the need for us to continue with this knowledge sharing platform to keep ourselves abreast of happenings and developments in the legal world” the NITA Faculty leader reiterated.

She added that the hand of fellowship extended to the Institute by the trainees, their cooperation and understandung had further aroused the willingness of the team members of NITA to continually make Lagos State a prime place of choice for capcity enhancement and human development.