12 October 2020 by VICTORIA ABAH
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has charged the Legal Aid Council to ensure equal access to justice for all irrespective of means and respect for Constitutional rights of citizens .
He made the call in Kano while declaring open a two-day Legal Aid Governing Board Retreat with the theme “The Role of the Governing Board in Corporate Governance: Providing Strategic Direction towards Achieving the Mandate of the Legal Aid Council”.
According to a statement from Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media to the AGF, Mr.Malami urged the Board Members of the Council to keep themselves abreast with the extant laws, adding that the policies of the Council must retain the force of facilitating its core objectives which includes the provision of pro-bono legal services to indigent, economically deficient and less privileged Nigerians.
He says the services of the Legal Aid Council are geared towards reducing, to the barest minimum, incidents of Human Rights abuses perpetrated against Nigerians.
According to Mr.Malami, such steps will enable the Board to pledge allegiance to the motto of the Council: “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” while maintaining the Council’s Mission mantra: “To ensure free, effective and efficient legal aid services to indigents in Nigeria.”
The Minister assures the Council of the commitment of the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Justice in supporting activities of the Council aimed at providing strategic direction in achieving its mandate.
The AGF notes that his Office in conjunction with the Management of the Legal Aid Council have duly concluded all the requisite legal arrangements for the launch of the “ACCESS TO JUSTICE FUND”, a Fund duly provided for under the Legal Aid Act, 2011, which is a unique national fund aimed to raise funds for the assistance of legal aid works in Nigeria.
He also commends the Council for releasing thirty-one of its Law Officers for the terrorism trials of Boko-Haram members which, he says provides the requisite legal defence in the trial.