Legal aid council settles 174 criminal cases in Edo, A’Ibom
Legal Aid Council in Edo and Akwa Ibom States, have disclosed that no fewer than 144 civil and criminal cases, have been settled from January 2015 to date, with a pledge to provide free legal advice and representatives for litigants seeking justice.
The state coordinator, Eddy Inenevwo, who spoke to newsmen in Benin, said the council was on awareness campaign on its activities, with a view to educating the public about the council’s mission and vision, which he said, is to enlighten the public on their rights in seeking justice.
The campaign took him to prisons facilities in the state including, the Benin Prisons, Oko Prisons, as well as major markets and motor parks in the state capital.
According to him, the council completed a total of 99 criminal cases, with 72 cases discharged and acquitted and nine civil cases won, during the period under review.
He, however, urged litigants and member of the public seeking legal advice, as well as legal representatives in the court of law, not to hesitate to consult any of the council offices across the state.
In Akwa Ibom, the council said it settled 30 criminal cases
within the period under review. The state coordinator, Ogbenyi Ogah, said this at the sensitisation and awareness campaign of its activities in the state.
According to him, over 80 criminal cases were pending at the various courts across the state, including the Federal High Court, adding that, the low number of completed cases during the period, is attributed to the long strike, witnessed in the early part of the year by the judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.
Ogah said the council, over the years has continued to provide free legal service and assistance to the less privileged.
“The council provides free legal representation and assistance to the poor, whose cases come within the purview of the second schedule of the Act, to wit, murder, armed robbery and others.
The coordinator added that, “the council grants legal aid, advice and access to justice in three broad areas, which are criminal defense
service, advice and legal assistance in civil matters.”
He however, said the council was facing the challenges of inadequate funds, from both federal and state governments, to meet the increasing demand of indigent clients.
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