disabled people in Nigeria : Photo Credit: file copy

Disabled lawyers have right to complain

– Prof. Taiwo Osipitan

It is true that courts are not accessible to the disabled lawyers in Nigeria unlike their counterparts in the United States and other developed countries.

In Nigeria, courts are in higher floors and disabled lawyers with wheelchairs often find it difficult to access them. So, they are right to complain. States should emulate Lagos Special People’s Law

-Mr. Femi Falana

There are no facilities for physically challenged people in Nigeria. However, under the Special People’s Law 2014 of Lagos State, public institutions have been given five years within which to adjust . In essence, the law seeks to uphold the rights of all persons living with any form of disability in Lagos State by safeguarding them against all forms of discrimination and giving them equal rights and opportunities. It is a law. It is recommended that the law should serve as model for the Federal Government and other states of the federation.

Court systems must be improved

– Mr. Olisa Agbakoba

The court systems are in terrible state and urgent action is needed to turn around this very hopeless situation.

Most courts have no facility for PWDs

-Mr. Emeka Ngige

We ought to make changes to the way the court is being run. For instance, many of the courts do not have provision for accessibility with wheelchairs. You will have to lift the wheelchair before entering the courtroom. I have seen Mohammed Fawehinmi going to some of the courts, and people have to lift him up from downstairs to upstairs.

I believe that the general high court, this court they are building in Lagos and in Abuja, have facilities for the physically challenged, but most courts in Nigeria don’t have that. For example, our Supreme Court. So, I agree with them in their complaints.

It’s a sad situation

– Mr. Tayo Oyetibo

It is a very sad situation in the country. Nigeria has not done well for the physically-challenged persons. Every aspect of our nation has failed in taking the physically-challenged persons into consideration. In some countries, there are public transport firms that will lower the steps of their vehicles to make them accessible to the physically challenged persons, but we don’t have such a facility in Nigeria. “Even courts in Nigeria are located in higher floors; there is no provision for the physically-challenged lawyers to get there. So, the situation is a major problem in Nigeria.

Judiciary has been fair to all

– Chief Richard Akinjide

I don’t agree with them. We have been very fair to all lawyers, whether able or not. And if anybody has any problem, the person should let me know. I will be too happy to help such a fellow. It is quite possible the state of their condition is not their fault. Why should they suffer for that? They should not and at the same time, they should have the ability to practise their profession.

If we limit it to the disabled, the judiciary has been very fair to them. I have no doubt about that. Anybody who thinks the government is not fair to him, he should come to me and I will intervene on his behalf.

They should demonstrate the ability to practise law. Law is not meant for second or third eleven, it is meant for first class brain. If you have the first class brain and you want to practise law and have any problem, come to me or you go to any other senior lawyers. I am sure they will help you.

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