The office of the Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State was established in 1968 after the creation of the State pursuant to State (creation & transitional provision) Decree 14 of 1967. By Section 195 of the 1999 Constitution, “There shall be an Attorney-General for each State who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the State and a Commissioner for Justice of the government of that State pursuant to the above provision”. The Attorney-General is appointed by the Governor of a State. The appointed person is eligible to hold office as Attorney-General if he is qualified as a Legal Practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for not less than ten years. The present Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State is Mr. . He is a member of the Lagos State Cabinet and in his capacity as the Attorney-General, is the custodian of the law, acting in the public interest. He is responsible for legal affairs of the administration in Lagos State. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN
The Role and Functions of the Attorney-General
The Attorney-General is in-charge of the Ministry of Justice and has responsibility for the various departments and agencies of the Ministry which include the Directorates of Civil Litigation, Advisory Services, Legislative Drafting, Public Prosecutions, Administrator-General & Public Trustees, Commercial Law, Citizens’ Rights, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC), Public Advice Centre (PAC), etc. In carrying out his function and responsibilities, the Attorney-General acts through the Law officers in each department or agency in the Ministry.
The Attorney-General is the Chief Public Prosecutor in Lagos State for all criminal matters. In the exercise of his powers to institute, undertake or discontinue criminal proceedings as conferred on him by S.211 of the Constitution, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
The Attorney-General as the Chief Law Officer of the State exercises his power and performs his functions either personally or through any Law officer in the department or agency of the Ministry. His functions include:
Giving legal advice to government, Ministries, Statutory bodies and Departments of Government; Arranging for legal officers or lawyers to prosecute criminal matters; arranging for lawyers to institute or defend civil actions on behalf of the State, its parastatals and agencies; Keeping under review all the laws applicable to Lagos State with a view to their systematic development and reform; Preparing executive bills in accordance with directives from the Cabinet for Laws to be enacted by the State House of Assembly; Preparing subsidiary legislation for government Ministries and other Bodies; Attending the State Executive Council meeting where policies are formulated for the State; and Performing any other duty that may be assigned to him by the Governor.