DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER
Former Deputy Director, Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC), Mrs. Adesomoju Olubunmi Adenike has been appointed as the new Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD)
This development was disclosed in a memo signed by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-bey on Tuesday.Her deployment became imperative following the appointment of the former Director OPD, Dr. Babajide Martins as Director Public Prosecutions(DPP), Ministry of Justice.
Mrs. Adesomoju Olubunmi Adenike had her primary and Secondary education at Command Children School Sabo, Yaba, Lagos and Command Secondary School Ipaja respectively.She proceeded to Baptist Academy Obanikoro for her A-levels in 1988/89.
She graduated from the Ogun State University in 1994 with a Bachelor in Laws degree (B.L) and L.L.B in 1995 when she was called to the Nigerian Bar.
She proceeded for a Master in Laws (L.L.M) post graduate program at the University of Lagos in 2014.
Adesomoju joined the State Public Service in 1999 and worked at the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency .She thereafter worked in several Directorates of the Ministry of Justice such as Directorates of Public Prosecutions, Civil Litigation and the Citizens’ Mediation Centre where she was the Deputy Director before her recent posting.
Adesomoju is an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, (ICSA),member of the Institute of Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria, a member of Nigerian Bar Association, and also a member of the International Bar Association.
She has attended several trainings, seminars, webinars and workshops in Criminal Advocacy, Public Prosecutions, Mediation & Arbitration Practices both locally and internationally
The office of the Public Defender, a sub-department of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights (DCR) was established in July, 2000 to fulfill the desires of the poor in the society towards access to justice. It was established under the OPD Law, 2003, reviewed in January 2008, to serve as an autonomous institution with the primary objective of providing free legal services to the indigent in line with the Lagos State Government’s policy on access to justice.
The OPD therefore epitomizes a transformation of the Justice Ministry from a defacto “Ministry of Law and Order”, which it was under the military rule until 1999, to a Ministry where protection of the rights of the citizen is a core objective.
Fundin for the sub-department was initially by the State Government and some donor orgnaizations such as Ford Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). The State Government is currently the sole source of funding for the department.
Under the leadership of Hon. Justice Bisi Akinlade who headed the department from inception till March, 2008, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi took over, Mrs. Olubukola O. Salami then took over from her. The office became the flagship of legal aid not only in Nigeria but in sub-Saharan Africa. The department is currently headed by Mrs. Adenrera Olayinka Adeyemi and has five offices located at strategic areas of Lagos State. It has formed partnership with several civil society groups to further extend the reach of its operations.