Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Programme Manager of Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, Mrs. Barbara Malaria has declared that only four legal aid lawyers are serving the population of about 15 million people in Kano State.
She noted in Kano that, â€œlack of adequate legal aids is the main reason for poor access to justice by indigents who could not provide legal representation despite a popular say that “access to justice is not a privilege, rather a right.â€
The programme manager added that inadequate legal aids activities in Kano informed the inaugurated a board of governors of the public defender’s office in Kano with the aim of rendering free legal services to people who could not afford to provide legal representation for their cases in the court of law.
According to her, inadequate legal aids lawyers has hampered fast dispensation of justice in the state, while calling for more lawyers to specialise in legal aids so as to help the common man have quick access to justice.
She said the office would be assisting indigents, providing alternative dispute resolutions without going to court and rendering other paralegal services.
In her remarks shortly after taking the oath of allegiance, the Chairperson of the board, Hajiya Hussaina Aliyu Ibrahim promised that the board would work diligently to complement the legal aid efforts towards improving access to justice in the State and in Nigeria as a whole.
THISDAY learnt that the private Public Defendant’s Office when fully opened next month in Kano, will involve some government agencies such as the Kano State Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid of Nigeria among other to ensure efficient service delivery.