Thousands of vulnerable persons in Mushin/Oshodi constituencies of Lagos State have benefitted from the second phase of the free legal advice and services offered by four human rights organizations.
The project’s facilitator, Mr. Nathaniel Ngwu, indicated that the event tagged; ‘Community Awareness/Legal Aid Clinic’, was organized by Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE), Justice for Peace and Development Initiative, Ngwunta Chambers and Legal Resources Consortium with support from British Council’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) program.
Different groups ranging from the physically challenged, the blind, deaf and dumb together with the National Society of Women Council, Mushin Chapter, were in full participation at the event which was held within the premises of Grade A Customary Court in Mushin.
The participants recounted their continuous challenges and victimization from the society and government failures to attend to their needs. Majority of them lamented the lack of political will on the part of government to uphold their rights against all forms of discrimination.
Their complaints included molestation in schools, intimidation on exercise of right to inheritance as well as discrimination by family members. In a chat with New Telegraph Law, a staff of REPLACE, Dominic Aigbogun, disclosed that the Legal Aid Clinic was put together to cater for the needs of vulnerable persons in the society.
He said: “The NGOs and our funding body realized the need in the society to decongest police stations and prisons through community awareness. We believed that if we can begin to address people’s problems from the grassroots, it will help our cause.
That is why we are having this kind of event. “The focus is on the vulnerable persons and those who are unable to access legal service in the society, among whom are women, people living with disability and children.
The objectives of the programme are being achieved. Records abound of people who in one way or the other have been helped to overcome the various challenges confronting them legally and otherwise”.
On her part, the Senatorial Coordinator of Blind People in Mushin, Christianah Kehinde Akinrinmade, expressed her delight at the programme saying it had helped her to know her rights as a Nigerian.