The Legal Services Secretariat was restructured to cover both the FCDA and the FCTA in 2005. This was prompted by the administrative changes brought about by the FCT (Establishment of Functionaries and Departments) MFCT (Dissolution) Order 1, 2004. The Department was upgraded to a Secretariat to enable it function like a full fledged Justice Department i.e. similar to a State Ministry of Justice to handle the challenges presented by the growing capital.
The secretariat provides legal advice, defends and prosecutes matters in which the Administration or any of its Agencies is a party and provides contractual and legislative services.
The Legal Services Secretariat presently comprises the following offices:
(i) The office of the General Counsel/Secretary.
(ii) The office of the Solicitor-General.
(iii) And Five (5) Departments:
The General Counsel/Secretary is the Administrative head of the Secretariat and performs functions as the Chief Law Officer of the Federal Capital Territory.
The office of the Solicitor-General like that of the General Counsel was created following the establishment of the Legal Services Secretariat to function as if it were the office of Solicitor – General in a State. He is the Accounting Officer for the Secretariat and supervises the various Departments. The Solicitor-General is also the Secretary of the FCT Executive Committee.
This Department handles and supervises all litigation matters which the Federal Capital Territory Administration and its Agencies are parties.
The Department is responsible for drafting Bills and Regulations for Agencies and Parastatals of the Federal Capital Territory. The Department is also responsible for the preparation of contract Agreements. Recently, a comprehensive general review of Contract Agreements consisting of Construction, Services, Supplies, In-Service Bond and Land Swap Development Lease Agreements was carried out.
Corporate Services Department:
The Department is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the Library and improving the Law Library through the acquisition of current Law Books, Law Reports and Legal Journals. The other schedules include Registration of Companies and Matters relating to Companies and Public Private Partnership (PPP). It is noteworthy that some officers of the Department are pursuing professional certification in some of these areas, particularly the PPP.
Department of Advisory Services:
The Department is charged with the responsibility of giving the FCTA General Legal Advice and Opinion. The Other schedules include FCDA Advisory issues, Citizens Rights Protection, Criminal Advisory Services and Liaison with Non – Governmental Organisations.
Department of Administration and Financeolicitor:
The Department is charged with the responsibility of managing the Secretariat’s Personnel/Human resources, materials and general administration, Periodic reports relating to Staff Appointment, Promotion, Discipline and Manpower Training and assist in the formulation, implementation and review of Policies.