Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has directed the state Ministry of Justice to immediately commence the process of translating the state laws into Yoruba language, especially the proposed Amotekun law.
The bill for the establishment of the Ekiti State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, was passed into law at the state House of Assembly last Friday and is now awaiting Fayemi’s assent.
The state’s Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, said yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that Fayemi gave the directive so that the ordinary people could better understand the provisions of the law in their language.
“In furtherance of the commitment of the Fayemi administration to its citizens active participation in governance, Mr. Governor has today (yesterday) approved the translation of Laws of Ekiti State into Yoruba Language.
“Given the volumes of the Laws of Ekiti State, the translation will be implemented in phases. The first phase will include laws that have direct impact on the daily reality of our people.”
Some of the laws that will be translated immediately, according to Fapohunda, include: Sustainable Development Goals Law, Ekiti State, 2019; Ekiti State Property Protection ( Anti- Land Grabbing ) Law 2019; Ekiti State Gender-based Violence (Prohibition ) Law 2019, and Ekiti State (Transition) Law, 2019.
He added that the proposed Amotekun law will be translated into Yoruba after the governor’s assent, saying: “Ekiti State Security Network Agency Bill affects the daily lives of the people of Ekiti State, especially those in our rural communities. It, therefore, follows that this is one legislation that all of our people need to understand”.
On how the laws will be translated, he said that “there are many qualified academics in the Ekiti State University who specisalised in Yoruba language. We will work with them.”
Fapohunda also stated that some of the policy documents of the Ministry of Justice like the Ekiti State Charter for Victims of Crime; Directive on Non-discontinuance of Criminal Matters, and Additional Measures in aid of Prosecution of Sexual Violence would also be translated into Yoruba language.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Solicitor-General Ekiti State, Mr. Lawrence Ojo, while commenting on this development said: “With this, Ekiti State Ministry of Justice will be recording another first in Nigeria” .
Ojo said there had been talks over the years, especially in lawyers’ conferences and meetings, on the need to translate laws into local Nigerian languages but little efforts were made in this regard.