*80% Of Inmates Enrolled Between Octobers – December 2018 Do Not Have Legal Representation, Records Show
*150 Inmates To Receive Free Legal Representation From The Branch

The Chief Justice of Lagos State has lauded the Total E&P Co-operative for the donation of one million Naira grant to the NBA Ikorodu branch in support of the Court Centered Prison Decongestion Initiative.

The Chief Justice who was ably represented by the Head judge, Ikorodu High Court, noted that it was important to curb the incidence that led to the congestion of the prisons. She thus called on NBA, other organizations and individuals to join in the efforts to decongest the prisons. Her lordship thanked Total E&P Co-operative for the grant given to the Ikorodu Branch to carry the important initiative.

TheNigerialawyer (TNL) recalls that in September, 2018, the initiative was developed by the Chairman of the Branch Bayo Akinlade, Esq., to station volunteer Lawyers in each Magistrate Court in Ikorodu every Thursday when awaiting trial inmates were being produced in Court from the Prisons.

It was reported that on arriving in Court, the volunteer lawyers announce their appearance on behalf of inmates who do not have legal representation and from that moment on; the volunteer Lawyers take up the cases of these inmates till its conclusion.

In achieving the stated objective, Mr. Akinlade sought the support and Partnership of the Chief Judge of Lagos State to get the buy-in from the Magistrates as well as the Ministry of Justice through the office of the Public Defender. He was also said to have sought the support of Total E & P Nigeria Staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society to fund the initiative.

Still on the chain of praises, the Asst. Director, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Mr. Odusanya, eulogized Total E & P Co-operative for their support and reiterated the need for organizations to support the effort of government to help poor and vulnerable citizens.

He noted that OPD has recorded great successes in providing free legal support to over a million Nigerians since inception; OPDs partnership with NBA Ikorodu Branch has also improved the quality of its service and expanded its reach, it was added.

Responding to the move, President of Total E & P Nigeria Staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society, Mr. Olawale Olasoji reinstated the Society’s commitment in supporting initiatives aimed at righting the wrong of social injustice.

According to the records made available to TNL, statistics from the Ministry of Justice reveals that 80% of inmates enrolled between Octobers – December 2018 do not have Legal Representation. Based on the initiative, therefore, over 150 inmates would receive free legal representation from the Branch.

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