Nigeria Bar Association offers free legal services to lift the poor from injustice


Many poor Nigerians face injustice due to their lack of financial capability to support their evidence. This financial problem has raised alot of concern from the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

Recently, the Nigerian Bar Association, Ekiti chapter, has urged Lawyers practicing in the state to offer free legal services to those whose rights were being abridged on account of poverty. It has been reported over the years that the poor suffer in the hands of injustice due to lack of fund. NBA is set to correct this challenge.

In addition, the association lamented on the increasing level of injustice against Nigerians in spite of the fact that the country operates democracy. It further urged its members to join the fray as ministers in the temple of justice to stem the tide of such unwholesome practices in the interest of peace and unity. Many of the lawyers are ready to take part in this fray which is a way to combat injustice.

In confirmation, the Chairman of NBA, Ado Ekiti chapter, Mr Gbemiga Adaramola said this in Ado Ekiti, during one of the programmes lined up to commemorate the 2017 NBA Law Week.

Furthermore, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governorship aspirant, Mr Kola Alabi, has called for capital punishment for those trampling on the people’s rights, particularly those breaching the rights of Nigerians through corruption, describing it as the best way to curb the menace. He further mentioned that poverty is not a sin and it shouldn’t be used as a yardstick to abuse rights.

Adaramola, who doubles as the Director of Prosecution in the State Ministry of Justice, said the ‘pro bono’ services became imperative to prevent poor Nigerians, who cannot afford legal fees from being cheated by the rich citizens. He stated that the poor Nigerians should exploit the opportunity of the Departments of Legal Aide Council and Citizens’ Rights in the State Ministry of Justice to get free legal aids on issues that violate the exercise of their rights. He further advised the public to report any lawyer suspected of corrupt practices to the NBA Disciplinary Committee for proper action or to any of the branches in the State. This will help to prevent the violation of human rights in the country.

“Part of our tasks is to offer free legal services to the poor, we must protect their rights because this is where social unrest starts from. When people are being cheated, the accumulation of it over time caused public unrest and all forms of crimes”. He said.

Mr Kolawole Alabi also said human rights abuse has been the main problem bedeviling the nation, advising that such trend must be halted to prevent future calamity.

“Part of human rights abuses is for somebody to be elected a governor, senator or president, only to get there and start accumulating wealth for himself and family. What is the essence of a governor or president that cannot provide good roads, employments and good lives for citizens but only stocked multi billion naira in accounts.

He also talked about corruption as part of human right abuse:
“Let me say expressly that if you cannot meet all the foregoing after being elected, I see it as a flagrant abuse of the people’s rights and such people should be treated the way they treat corrupt people in China, Indonesia and Japan”.

The NBA urges lawyers to be fair in handling criminal cases and also give preferential treatments to the poor. It was reported that many lawyers are ready to assist the poor as they confirmed that they have suffered enough from poverty injustice.

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