A HISTORICAL PROFILE OF THE LEGAL AID COUNCIL OF NIGERIA
The concept of Legal aid in Nigeria can be said to have been birthed in 1961 when Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the time, during the African Conference on the Rule of Law held in Lagos, pointed out the hollowness of a constitutional right to a fair hearing, if the financial aspect of access was ignored. That statement was the first official public acknowledgement of the need and desirability for legal aid in Nigeria.
This led to a Bill prepared by the then Honourable Attorney-General, Dr. T.O. Elias, entitled Legal Aid and Advice Act 1961 for Parliament, in order to formally establish legal aid in Nigeria. The Bill sought to make provision for the establishment and operation of a scheme for the granting in proper cases, legal aid and legal advice, to people with low income, who could not otherwise afford to procure them for the enforcement or vindication of a legitimate right or for obtaining a just relief. Unfortunately, due to the Nigerian Civil War the Bill did not see the light of day.
This effort later gave rise to the birth of the Nigerian Legal Aid Association. The Association was made up of legal luminaries who took it upon themselves to champion the cause of providing legal aid for poor Nigerians. The Association was inaugurated on February 6th 1974. One week after the inauguration saw the launching of the East Central State Branch of the Association in Enugu. Thereafter, Branches were also launched in Lagos, Plateau, Oyo and Cross River States.
The initiator of the Association was Chief Chimezie Ikeazor SAN, other members were Chief Debo Akande SAN who was the Director of Operations of the Organization, Chief (Dr) Solomon Lar C.O.N. was the Secretary General of the body. Other active members of the association include Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke. Chief Adebayo Ogunsanya, the then President of the Nigerian Bar Association was one of the national patrons.
I am Onuoha, AmakaDamaris, a legal practitioner ,a youth coach and human right activist. I hold LL.B fromNnamdiAzikiwe University ,Awka with 2nd class honours and B.L from the Nigerian Law School. I currently work with Mike Ikebgunam & Co Law firm and I am responsible for case file review, legal drafting, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. I have worked in organizations dealing with protection of human rights and combating corruption in Nigeria, which include Legal aid community development service and Legal Defence and Assistance project (LEPAD), where I have carried out campaigns on freedom of information Act 2011 , Anti- Corruption and sensitized the masses on the innovative of Administration of criminal justice law in Anambra State. I have also been part of provision of free legal assistance to persons who are imprisoned and do not have the finances to secure a lawyer.
I am a lawyer with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria,I am 12 years at the bar. Presently, I do more of criminal litigation. I stumbled on this network while I was searching for resources online to use for one write up and discovered that there are lots of resources here hence my reason for joining the network.
A lawyer, entrepreneur, young political leader and social advocate
I am Mustapha Ahmad Muazu Esq, a legal Practitioner attached to legal Aid Council of Nigeria Kano State Branch. I spent almost Six years now in legal Aid officer attached to Litigation Department, I specialized in Litigation, Legal Drafting, Administrative Support, Mediation, Contract formation, Research, Filing Court processes, secretarial duties, etc, with this My experiences I believe I can assist in delivering legal representation to indigents as well as counselling them so that they will become alert about their right.
I am Obinna Okereke and I hold a masters degree in law and working on PhD currently. I am a child rights activist and a practicing lawyer based in niger state. I run a child based ngo called green foundation for child development and have an orphanage home in Niger state. My joining this organisation will help me in networking and contacting individuals and organisations on the same child rights tract
My name is Taiye Ruth Aina, I have an M.sc in Public Administration from National Open University of Nigeria, also a Post Graduate Diploma PGD in the same course of study from the same University, a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy HND and National Diploma in Public Accounts and Auditing from Federal Polytechnic Bauchi State Nigeria respectively. My role as a senior executive officer programs in Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Suleja, involves traveling to the Nigerian prisons around my state with a team of legal officers for proper litigation, legal education, prison decongestion and creating a mass awareness for the poor and the vulnerable freely. i look forward to acquiring more knowledge on access to information especially the rural dwellers in my society, women empowerment, and access to justice criminal justice in other to find solutions to challenges facing legal empowerment in my society .
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