The Citizen’s Rights Department became operational in November 2005, its primary function is the protection of the rights of citizens, thereby affording them access to justice.
In line with the vision statement of the Ministry, the Citizens’ Rights Department mission statement is “to Foster Democracy through the protection of the Rights of the Citizens, and giving then access to justice”.
The mission of the department is “to give quality services through quick disposal of cases by employing Alternative Dispute resolution (ADR) Mechanisms.”
Functions Receives and handles petitions.
• Head mediation centers.
• Formulation of policies for the Department.
• Implements policies of the department.
• Investigation of petitions and claims.
• Offering legal advice, defense of indigent litigants.
• Creating an conducive atmosphere/forum for the settlement of simple disputes.
• Creating a platform for venting Advisory, Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation, Reconciliation and addressing grievances in a less formal setting than the law courts.
The department has the following branches: Women Rights and Gender Issues; Children and Youth; Inheritance and Probate Matters; Constitutional Matters; Prison Welfare/Prerogative of Mercy; Landlord and Tenant Dispute; Enforcement of Court Judgments; Employer/Employee Disputes; Consumer Rights Protection; Communal/Boarder/Land Disputes; and General Claims Against Government Ministries and Other Entities
Details of Customers
Petitions are directed or sent to the Department from the Officer of the Honorable Attorney-general and Minister of Justice. Such petitions include among others, landlord/tenant disputes, employer/employee, domestic violence especially cases involving husband/wife, inheritance disputes, widows rights, land matters, enforcement of court judgment etc.
All petitions referred to the Department are investigated and treated promptly within the limits of resources provide in the Ministry, either by mediation, arbitration, conciliation, counseling; or a hybrid process
Customers may expect;
• Prompt and courteous treatment.
• Adequate information on progress of work on their petitions.
• Thorough investigation of matters referred.
Grievance Redress Mechanism
An explanation of the complaint procedure: complaints are written in the form of petitions. A petition is addressed to the Honorable Attorney- General and Minister of Justice. A complaint is made by a petitioner detailing an alleged rights violation, supported with evidence to buttress his/her claims. The action to be taken would be determined by the nature of the alleged rights violation. This could take the form of any or all of the alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms (ADR).
Chief Legal Officer
The Department works with other Agencies in the human rights Sector, e.g. Judiciary, Federal Ministry of Women Council, National Human Rights Commission, the Media, Police, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) like WOTCLEF, WRAPA, and Donor Agencies