A BRIEF HISTORY
Delta State was created on August 27, 1991 out of the former Bendel State. The name Bendel was derived from Benin and Delta, the two provinces that made up the former Midwestern Region created by the plebiscite in 1963 from the then Western Region. When the then Military Regime announced new States on May 27, 1967, the Midwest Region became a State.
The name was changed to Bendel in February, 1976. In the State creation exercise of 1991, the Asaba division of the Old Benin Province was added to the Delta Province to make up Delta State.
Following the creation of Delta State in 1991, Delta State indigenes in the former Bendel State Civil Service were directed to move over to the new State and set up similar Ministries. Hence, Ministries were created as directed and the Ministry of Justice was one of such Ministries.
The Ministry which started operations with six Departments had Chief A.P.J. Okpapor as the first Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice while Mrs. Rita Pemu now a Justice of the Court of Appeal served as the pioneer Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary of the Ministry
The Ministry of Justice is a service oriented delivery Ministry and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is empowered by section 195 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where his powers are derived from as the Chief Law Officer of the State Government. He works with other Officers in the Ministry in performing the statutory functions conferred on the Ministry by law.
The central thrust of the Ministry of Justice is to ensure that Delta State is a State where Peace and Justice reigns and the Rule of Law prevail and the promotion of effective dispensation of Justice in the State. This is done through effective and diligent prosecution of crimes and the enforcement of Law and Order through the Courts.
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTRY
The functions of the Ministry include:
- (i.) Legal Advisory Services to the State Government and its MDA’s
- (ii.) Drafting of Executive Bills and Regulations
- (iii.) Advise on the Revision of the Laws of the State;
- (iv.) Advise the State Government on Criminal and Civil Law Policies;
- (v.) Handling of proceedings by or against Government in tax and revenue matters;
- (vi.) Criminal Prosecutions;
- (vii.) Promoting Administration of Justice within the State
- (viii.) Administration of Estates and Public Trusts;
- (ix.) Law Report, Review, Research and Publication of Laws of Delta State;
- (x.) Drafting and vetting of contractual agreements and memorandum of understanding between Government and its contractors, other levels of Government and International Agencies and Multinational Corporations
- (xi.) Dispute Resolution through Conciliation, Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation through the Department of Peoples’ Rights;
- (xii.) Promotion and Protection of fundamental Rights of persons within the State;
- (xiii.) Verification of the Legal Status of Companies and Firms doing business with the State Government and conducting due diligence on prospective contractors;
- (xiv.) Recovery of Taxes and Levies imposed by Law;
- (xv.) Recovery of debts from defaulting Contractors
The Ministry of Justice as a technical and professional Ministry has been providing Government with the needed legal framework and advice to achieve its programmes and overall objectives. This is in addition to other Constitutional roles performed by the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal of Nigeria (as amended).
DEPARTMENTS OF THE MINISTRY
Having regards to the strategic needs of the State, the Ministry responded by increasing its functional Zonal Offices by creating two additional Zones; Ogwashi-Uku and Issele-Uku Zones, created a Special Unit for rape and Domestic Violence, established an Appeal Unit for matters at Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, created three Senatorial Zonal Offices, headed by Senatorial Zonal Coordinators and did several postings including the appointment of a new DPP. These changes are designed to strengthen the operations of the Ministry and deliver on its statutory functions.
Presently there are 12 Departments in the Ministry:
- i. Department of Public Prosecutions
- ii. Department of Civil Litigation
- iii. Department of Legal Drafting
- iv. Department of Advisory Services
- v. Department of People’s Rights
- vi. Department of Finance and Accounts.
- vii. Department of Law Reports, Research Review and Publication.
- viii.Department of Administrator –General and Public Trustee
- ix. Civil Service/Appeals
- x. Department of Administration
- xi. Department of Planning Research and Statistics.
The Ministry has a total of 12 Zonal Offices headed by Zonal Heads. The Offices are located at;
- i. Warri Zonal Office
- ii. Ughelli Zonal Office
- iii. Sapele Zonal Office
- iv. Orerokpe Zonal Office
- v. Bomadi Zonal Office
- vi. Ozoro/Oleh Zonal Office
- vii.Otor-Udu Zonal Office
- viii. Agbor Zonal Office
- ix.Effurun Zonal Office
- x. Kwale Zonal Office
- xi. Ogwashi-Uku Zonal Office
- xii. Issele-Uku Zonal Office
Delta North - Located at Agbor
Delta Central - Located at Ughelli
Delta South - Warri
ATTORNEY-GENERALS FROM 1991 TO DATE
|Chief A.P.J. Okpakpor||1991 - 1992|
|Mr. Vincent O. Adaikpo||1992 - 1993|
|Dr. Enemeri||1993 -1996|
|Mr. A.P.A. Ogefere||1996 - 1999|
|Prof. A.A. Utuama, SAN||1999 - 2007|
|Chief R. Orugbo||2007 - 2007|
|Mr. Dafe Akpedeye, SAN||2007 - 2009|
|Chief V. E. Otomiewo||2009 - 2010|
|Mr. Charles A. Ajuyah, SAN||2011 - 2015|
|Mr. Peter Mrakpor||2015|
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