The Ministry of Justice has proposed N2 billion to cover its legal services for the 2021 fiscal year, an amount the solicitor-general of the federation, Dayo Apata, described as small when compared to what it is meant to do.
The legal services include civil litigation, prison decongestion, trial and prosecution of Boko Haram criminals, administration of criminal justice system and payment for international legal obligations, he disclosed. Of the N2 billion, about N350 million was budgeted for the trial and prosecution of Boko Haram criminals.
Mr Apata appeared before the Senate committee on judiciary, legal and human rights matters, on Monday, to defend the ministry’s 2021 budget proposal.He was in the company of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
The panel had queried the duo for duplication of items in the budget submitted.Ajibola Basiru, the Senate spokesperson and member of the panel, noted that some line items listed under overhead cost also appeared in the capital budget.He also said the proposed N2 billion legal services is not definitive enough to avail auditors at the committee the purpose of exercising oversight functions.