The Directorate is one of the staff branches of the Department of Administration (Army) responsible for providing legal services and advice to the NA in general and also to formations; units and NA personnel. The organization and roles of DALS according to NA ORBAT of 1996 approved the deployment of its personnel at AHQ, TARDOC, formations and Corps Headquaters down to Brigade level. DALS is divided into 2 main departments: The Admin/Civil law department and Military Justice/International law department.
The Admin/Civil law deals with legal aid to officers and soldiers in criminal and civil matters, Contract, Claims and Compensation, Will/Probate matters, Land matters Pre-litigation advice, and Marriages.
Secondly, Military Justice/International law department deals with court-martial, summary trials, Review of cases, International Law, Law of War, and General legal matters.
Consequently, DALS is saddled with the responsibilities of advising the COAS, commanders and staff officers on legal matters, overseeing the proceedings of Board of Inquiry and military commissions; maintaining liaison with Ministry of Justice and other related state agencies; provision of legal guidance and staff supervision of the military justice system; Implementation of policies and procedures for examination and review of courts martial cases; reviewing and acting on petitions from trials and other allegations; monitoring of trials by foreign courts of Nigerian Army Personnel, as well as conditions for confinement in foreign penal institutions; formulation and establishing legal policies and procedures on contractual agreements. Others are; career managements of the personnel of the Directorate and all appointment of legal services officers; serves on Army tenders board of NAWIS, NASDMU, PHD (A) and NAPEX.
Other major preoccupations of the DALS include general legal advice at all level of command as well as individual service personnel; organizing lectures and symposia, seminars at enhancing the standard or military justice and to achieve uniformity in practice and procedure. It is also involved in litigation services.
DALS has recorded modest achievements over the years. Paramount among these are: Draft Manual of Military Law (MML): Manual on the Laws of War; Code of Conduct for combatants, Printing of Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 etc. The present Director of Directorate of Army Legal Services (DALS) is Brigadier General JA Okunbor.