President Bola Tinubu has approved the reinstatement of the boards of three public institutions under the Federal Ministry of Justice, reversing an earlier Presidential directive which dissolved the boards of Federal Government parastatals, agencies, institutions and government-owned companies.

This is sequel to a request for exemption of the boards of some statutory agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

In a letter sighted by CITY LAWYER and dated 4th September, 2023, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba stated that President Tinubu granted exemption to the boards of Council of Legal Education (CLE), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS).

Signed by the Solicitor-General, the letter was directed to the office the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and copied to all the chief executives of the three institutions.

Justice sector stakeholders had poked holes in the dissolution of the boards. It was noted that the NHRC governing council led by Dr. Salamatu Husseini went through Senate screening and confirmation in June 2021, even as it was almost midway through its tenure.

While stakeholders had queried the dissolution of the NIALS board traditionally headed by an incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria, it was also argued that the Council of Legal Education board was dominated by non-Federal Government institutional representatives comprising the 36 State Attorneys-General, 16 representatives of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and a Dean of an accredited Faculty of Law. The Federal Government has only five representatives as members of the council, namely the Chairman, Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, and three persons appointed by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The recall of the Chief Emeka Ngige SAN-led Council which was inaugurated by the immediate past administration on 15th May, 2023 for another 4 -year tenure also became urgent due to pressing tasks including impending approval of Bar Final Resit results and subsequent Call to Bar ceremonies of successful students slated for the 10th and 11th October, 2023.

It will be recalled that President Tinubu had on 21st June, 2023 exempted the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from the list of dissolved boards of Federal Government parastatals, agencies, institutions and government-owned companies.

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