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Shortage of lawyers affecting justice delivery – Legal Aid

Director, International Operations, Legal Aid Council, Mr Bamidele Ibikunle, has said incessant issues of adjournment and delay in judgement delivery in court is based on…

Director, International Operations, Legal Aid Council, Mr Bamidele Ibikunle, has said incessant issues of adjournment and delay in judgement delivery in court is based on shortage of Pro bono lawyers.

Speaking at the weekend in Abuja when Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN) released their findings for the reforming pre-trial detention in Nigeria project, he said the findings in the report showed that lots of suspects brought to court were unrepresented by lawyers which led to delay in judgement delivery.

He explained that it was the mandate of the council to provide free legal services for poor people in the court.

He suggested that the judiciary, especially at the magistrate court levels, should periodically compile the number of suspects and send it to any of the council’s offices close to them to enable them to send lawyers to represent and defend them.

On her part, Programme Manager of PWAN, Hadiza Usman, said the organisation had been working with criminal justice actors across board to ensure a decrease in pre-trial detention cases in Nigeria.

She called for more pro bono lawyers so as to provide legal services for poor people in court to avoid stalling, adjournment and delaying in judgement.

Speaking to journalists, Executive Secretary, Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee, Mr Abiodun Aikomo, said the challenges in the criminal justice system were overwhelming, adding that funding is a major challenge facing the committee.

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