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Senator tasks lawyers on free legal services to people in need



Sen. Kaka Lawan (APC-Borno) has tasked lawyers to provide free legal services to the less privileged persons in the state toward promoting access to justice.

Lawan, who represents Borno Central at the National Assembly, said this at the 2024 Law Week of the Maiduguri and Biu Branches of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

The senator, also a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, said that ensuring access to justice remained a crucial role for lawyers.

“Access to justice is a fundamental right and is essential for promoting the rule of law, protecting human rights, and building trust in institutions.

“However, in conflict-affected areas like Borno, access to justice is often limited, with many people unable to afford legal representation or access legal services.

“We have a duty to help bridge this gap by providing pro bono legal services to those in need, particularly vulnerable groups such as internally displaced persons (IDPs), women, and children,” Lawan said.

He said that by offering free legal representation to the vulnerable persons, the legal practitioners would ensure that their rights were protected and that they had access to justice on an equal basis with others.

The senator tasked the lawyers to work to strengthen the legal aid mechanisms and support the establishment of legal clinics and community-based paralegal programmes to educate underserved communities to assert their rights to seek for redress through legal means.

He said that the lawyers could also play key role in resolving conflicts and promoting reconciliation for building trust and fostering social cohesion in the state, following the Boko Haram insurgents.

“In Borno, lawyers can play a particularly important role in mediating disputes between communities, ethnic groups, and religious factions.

“By bringing together representatives from different sides of the conflict and facilitating dialogue, we can help bridge the divide and promote understanding and reconciliation,” Lawan said.

He lauded the State Government for its commitment to restoring peace and resettlement of displaced persons to their ancestral homes and urged for support from all stakeholders to the government.

Yakubu Uba

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