There’s an organisation called “The Office Of The Public Defender”. The OPD renders qualitative and quantitative legal services to the indigents of Lagos State. The OPD is passionate about defending the socio-economic rights of Children and Women.
The services rendered by Office of the Public Defender (OPD) spread across the entire judicial and legal platform covering both Criminal and Civil matters ranging from employee/Employer Disputes, Matrimonial Causes, Landlord/Tenant (representing Tenants in Court), Unlawful detention, Assault, Recovery of Possession, Child Custody/Abuse, Domestic Violence, Compensation etc.
Presently, OPD has counsel in all magistrate and High Courts of the Criminal Division of Lagos State to assist in the decongestion of the prisons by providing free legal representation to indigents persons, to eliminate long adjournments and facilitate speedy trials.
As a way of enhancing access to justice for inmates who are unlawfully detained, OPD pays regular and periodic visits to all prisons in Lagos State.(Badagry,Kirikiri and Ikoyi).
The OPD Law provides for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in resolving matters out of court. The Office through Mediation and ADR has resolved thousands of cases since inception.
Due to the prevalence of Domestic Violence in the State, OPD extends its services to victims of Domestic Violence, to protect the victims and assist in enforcing their rights which have been violated. Such violation includes physical, economic, emotional and sexual abuse. The OPD is a member of DSVRT (Domestic Violence Response Team), and indeed collaborates with the DSVRT for instance OPD was part of the just concluded All Male walk against Sexual and gender based violence.
Another area that OPD has excelled is the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of the citizens of the State .e.g the case of Uzoma Okere who was assaulted by naval ratings attached to Admiral Arogundade, also the case of the seven months pregnant lady who was assaulted by her Lebanese employer etc.
The OPD takes particular interest in issues involving children. We have counsel representing interest of children in all the family Courts in Lagos state. The best interest of the child is important to us at OPD. OPD participates at the legal clinic at the annual bar week of the Nigerian Bar Association. OPD also partners with national and international stakeholders in safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedom of the poor, the vulnerable, the disadvantaged groups and the less privilege through a strong, vibrant and high quality pro bono services.
The OPD in collaboration with secondary schools in Lagos state organizes sensitization programs on various forms of abuse and the rights of a child, at regular intervals for secondary students at the OPD office in Surulere. This initiative was launched in 2013. The OPD has also introduced the Special Victim Unit (SVU), the Rescue mission and also quarterly campaign awareness at various local government in the state. The OPD will be having a campaign awareness this September at Epe Local Government specifically on Wednesday 21st September All of the above stated and more are part of the functions of the OPD and can be found in the enabling law establishing Office of the Public Defender in Lagos State (30th January, 2008).
Our Head Office is located at 2/8 Iyun Road,off Funsho Williams Avenue.Stadium Hotel Bustop Surulere .
We also have Offices situated inside the High/ Magistrate Courts at Ikorodu,Ogba and Épé Our toll free number is 07080601080