BENIN CITY- The Edo State Government has assured that it will establish a Public defender agency that will ensure that the poor have access to justice and help in prison decongestion by the second quarter of this year, 2017.
The assurance was given on Wednesday in Benin City by the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Barrister Osarodion Ogie while receiving a joint delegation from the Bread for the World, Berlin Germany led by Head of Africa Department, Mr. Reinhard Palm and the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a Benin City based NGO led by Rev. David Ugolor.
The Secretary to the State Government said that the Obaseki administration had already perfected plans to establish the agency in the 2nd quarter of 2017 as it was contained in the handover notes received from the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole- led administration.
He equally disclosed plans to built six additional court rooms for the purposes of speedy dispensation of justice as a way of decongesting the prisons in the state.
Fielding questions from the head of the BfdW delegation on the use of 13% oil derivation accruing to the state, the SSG explained that henceforth use of funds from the Edo State Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, EDSOGPADEC would be largely for the construction of roads in the oil producing communities to open them up for more businesses and for the evacuation of agricultural produce to urban areas. He said road construction for rural communities will ultimately benefit the people in multiple ways.
Barrister Ogie told the visiting Germans that Edo State was an investors destination as it is open to all investors willing to key into the enabling environment it has created which ensures guarantee of security of all citizens and infrastructural development.
Earlier in his remarks, ANEEJ helmsman, the Rev David Ugolor said that Bread for the World and ANEEJ are interested in the creation of a Public Defenders Agency to take care of poor Edo people who have no access to justice.
It will be recalled that former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had promised to establish the public defender agency at the wake of the murder of his Principal Private Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde and the gale of protests that followed.
The Bread for the World team also included Programme Officer for West and Central Africa, Mr. Jan Papendick and Communication Officer, Mr. Rainer Lang.
ANEEJ team also included the duo of its Deputy Director, Mr. Leo Atakpu, and Communications Manager, Bob Etemiku.