Lawyers team up to assist FCT lockdown violators

The Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has teamed up with an NGO, the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) to provide free services for violators of President Buhari’s lockdown directive at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Programme Director of NULAI, Mrs. Odi Lagi, said in a statement, jointly signed by NBA chapter President, Mr. Aluko Folarin, that the legal assistance will be reserved only for alleged offenders who are unable to afford legal fees for their appearances in any of the 13 mobile courts provided by the FCT.

The FCT Administration launched the mobile courts in a bid to force people to stay at home to avoid further spread of the Coronavirus which has so far afflicted 138 persons and killed three of them in the FCT.

President Muhammadu Buhari had issued and renewed two-week presidential orders to force residents of the FCT as well as Lagos and Ogun States – described as epicentres of the pandemic – to stay home.

The legal bodies are providing the services to in order to track the level of legal representation and the 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 law by the mobile courts.”

The goal of this service, they said, is to significantly reduce the number of people detained for trial by the courts, with a special focus on those that cannot afford legal representation.

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