Beginning the new year providing a necessary service and assisting the efforts of the Chief Judge of Lagos State in decongesting our prisons, the Human Rights and probono committee of the Ikorodu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association has once again facilitated the release of 4 awaiting trial inmates in its weekly probono exercise.
NBA Ikorodu branch in partnership with the Lagos State Judiciary and the Office of the Public Defender [OPD] provides volunteer lawyers each week to secure the release of many indigent persons who have no legal representation and yet languishing in prison for minor offenses they are yet to be convicted of.
This unique approach to prison decongestion and legal aid requires the presence of at least one NBA volunteer lawyer in each of the courts in Ikorodu division providing legal services to the less privileged person.
The members of the human rights and probono committee of the Ikorodu branch of the NBA provide this service every week at their own cost. However, support is required for these lawyers thus we encourage others to provide support in which ever way possible to keep this initiative working.
In the 5 weeks that this initiative has began over 50 inmates have been discharged while over 10 have had their trials commence.
The Lagos State Judiciary, through its Magistrates have given meaning to the ACJL and in applying it’s provisions have ensured speedy administration of justice. The OPD continues to support the volunteers in providing technical and back up support as we explore new ways of collaboration between the ministry of justice and the NBA for the benefit of the larger community.
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