The Network of University Legal Aid Institutions Nigeria and the Nigerian Bar Association have partnered to provide pro-bono legal representation at the 13 mobile courts in the Federal Capital Territory for defenders unable to afford it.
This was contained in a statement made available on Friday by the Programmes Director of NULAI Nigeria, Odi Lagi, and Chairman of the NBA, Abuja, Aluko Forlarin
The Federal Capital Territory Administration had activated Mobile Courts to try and prosecute as part of measures to ensure strict adherence to President Muhammadu Buhari’s the stay-at-home directive.
But NULAI said it is currently supporting FCT residents brought before mobile courts with legal services in partnership with the NBA even as the nation’s capital records a substantial number of cases resulting from the lockdown.
According to the statement, the partnership will also track the level of legal representation; use of non-custodial sentencing; diversion from detention; enforcement of fundamental human rights; obedience to rule of law and observance of the provisions of the relevant statutes/rules by these mobile courts during this lockdown; and ultimately ensuring access to justice.
“This is in line with the objective of achieving a significant reduction in the size of the pre-trial detention population in the FCT under its Reforming Pretrial Detention in Nigeria Project,” the statement read.
NULAI Nigeria, a non-profit organization, is committed to promoting legal aid and access to justice in Nigeria.