Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, South-West Nigeria, has said lawyers will be attached to each police station in the State to represent detainees without prior legal representation.
Abiodun made this known on Friday while launching the Ogun Public Interest Law Partnership (OPILP) and Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the State capital.
He said, “the inability of the poor and the vulnerable to have access to justice may not only cause great suffering for those affected but could ultimately result in social and economic turmoil with dire consequences for the society.”
The Governor stated that his administration, through the Citizens’ Rights Department, as well as the Legal Aid Council, had thus far supported the provision of voluntary legal services to the underprivileged and the disadvantaged in the state.
He added that the scheme would be properly monitored to ensure that it was not abused by people with sufficient means to afford the services of lawyers.
The Governor explained further that “the initiative would enable citizens seeking free legal services submit applications to the OPILP, have them matched with lawyers or law firms registered with the nearest NBA branch, as well as ensure that such applicants are provided with free legal representation.
Abiodun added that “once lawyers are assigned, they would be monitored by OPILP to ensure that they give assigned matters the requisite priority with a view to concluding them swiftly and effectively.”