Town Planners in Ogun State have been trained on how to ensure compliance with the rule of law in the discharge of their duties, to reduce incidences of litigation against the State Government to the barest minimum.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olatunji Odunlami, who spoke in Abeokuta at a training for the officers on ‘Official Response to Litigation Matters’’ organised by the Ministry of Justice, said training and re-training of staff on legal matters would ensure efficient service delivery.
A statement said Odunlami, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Kamoru Ogunfowora, noted that any action taken in contravention of the law could have a negative impact on the citizens and the government alike.
Speaking, one of the facilitators, a Chief State Counsel, Mrs Abiodun Odukoya, said petitions and court processes sent to the ministry should be directed to the Ministry of Justice for prompt action, adding that it was essential that legal matters be handled with urgency so that petitions could be resolved without foot-dragging.
Another Chief State Counsel, Mrs Oluwakemi Dankuwo, said the activities of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development were governed by the Ogun State Urban and Regional Planning Law 2006, and advised the town planners to be conversant with the law.
“If town planners follow the law to the latter in the discharge of their duties, including serving of notices correctly, allowing the appropriate duration of notices, keeping the documents appropriately for future reference, and even arbitrating third-party petitions to the Ministry, then cases that require litigation will reduce, while those cases that proceed to court can be better defended, ”Dankuwo said.
She highlighted the need for due diligence in granting permits and approvals, as well as regular inspections so that the functions of the ministry could be carried out without affecting members of the public negatively.