The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated a `National Depository of Treaties’ to improve access to justice and legal information.
Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said during the inauguration that it would ensure transparency, accessibility and order.
“This is in line with the tenements of Open Government Partnership and access to justice which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to uphold.”
Mr Malami said the goal was to achieve functional national depository of treaties.
“To maintain a comprehensive/updated register of treaties, and ensure that all treaties, agreements and protocols entered into by the Government are preserved,’’ he said.
The minister added that the electronic national depository of treaties would serve as the depository of all treaties entered into between the government and any other country.
“This is in line with Section 4 of the Treaties (Making Procedure, Etc.) Act Cap. T20 Laws of the Federation (LFN) 2004, which domiciled the National Depository of Treaties in the Federal Ministry of Justice.’’
Also speaking, the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), said that the ministry was empowered as the depository of all treaties entered into between the government and any other country.
“By Section 4 of the Treaties (Making Procedure, Etc.) Act 2004, the Federal Ministry of Justice has been designated the depository of all treaties entered into between the Federation and any other country.
“Accordingly, all treaties entered into before the commencement of the Act between the Government of the Federation and any other country by any ministry, governmental agency, body or person, shall be deposited with the Federal Ministry of Justice for record purposes.’’
Mr Apata said it was the duty of the Federal Ministry of Justice to prepare and maintain a register of treaties.
He said that the registry would enable the ministry generate some money for the government.
“The register is open at all reasonable times for inspection by members of the public on the payment of such token fee as may be determined from time to time.’’
He added that the electronic depository of treaties was one of the ways the ministry was utilising to make accessibility to the depository easy and faster.
Mr Apata called on departments and agencies to transmit to the National Depository of Treaties all executed agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, MoU, and treaties in their custody and those to be entered in the future in their original form.