Recently, Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde conferred the awards of Justice of Peace (JP) on his deputy, Barrister Bayo Lawal; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun and 398 others.

Many people in the state and even in the country at large do not know about the responsibilities and duties those conferred with the award are saddled to perform. There are numerous statutory functions for JP awardees. As a recipient of JP award, such individual has the constitutional power to prepare and sign an affidavit of any kind, be it change of name, loss of certificates, among others, before securing publication in recognized national dailies.

Settlement of tiff before it goes haywire or lead to disruption of tranquil co-existence in the society is another statutory function they are saddled with. Military personnel can only be intimated if the case is beyond what can be amicably settled by an individual conferred with JP title. Also, it is not beyond the power of those awardees to stamp and append signature on search and arrest warrants prepared by police officers.

For an individual to be awarded Justice of Peace, he/she must have formal education and be able to read and write. He/she should also have a modicum of legal knowledge. These will assist such a person in performing his function.

Olayode Inaolaji, Ogbomoso, Oyo State

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