By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – As female lawyers gather in Abuja for the 2022 FIDA Nigeria Annual General Conference, the Country Vice President/ National President International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA )Nigeria, Mrs Amina Suzanah Agbaje has charged them to take a stand in ensuring justice is served to the vulnerable population in Nigeria.
According to her, the true test of justice in a society lies not on the number of people with access to justice, but on the many who have little or no access to justice due to their vulnerabilities.
Sundiata Post recalls that the theme of this year’s annual General conference is: Uderstanding new strategies in tackling empowerment of women.”
Mrs Agbaje hinted that the theme was carefully chosen in order to address the lack of synergy employed by numerous actors in the gender sector which has caused a lot of setbacks in promoting the rights of women and children. The intended outcome of this conference she said, is to proffer practical and lasting solutions, and brainstorm on key ideas that can be effectively employed by all stakeholders in the quest to ending violence against women and children. Stressing that empowered women can do the impossible.
She said notwithstanding the daunting challenges of 2022 which includes but not limited to the #OccupyNASS and increase in spate of insecurity, we still have to acknowledge the positive results attained from the #OcuupyNASS protest, the various public hearings held to consider Bills cathering to SGBV; the laudable judgement of the Federal High Court on the affirmative action, and the number of female state Chief Judges appointed across Nogeria.
The Country Vice President emphasized that the most salient part of FIDA’s work is to promote justice and access to legal aid. This she said, is a fundamental component in ensuring the right to fair trial, including the right to legal defence and the fundamental human rights of life and liberty. Adding that as often said that for a criminal justice system to be fair, humane, effective and based on rule of law, the right to legal advice and assistance of suspects; accused and imprisoned persons, as well as witnesses and victims of crime, must be upheld and protected.
Mrs Agbaje who acknowledged that the administration of criminal justice system in Nigeria is not implemented as it should be at the national and state levels, however reminded that FIDA has a mandate to bridge the gap through legal awareness because for the population to access justice, they must understand their rights and the means to claiming them.
She therefore charged members to speak up for the voiceless and stand strong for the down-trodden in our society to ensure that they get the justice they deserve. In her words:”It is expected of us to to empower the poor and the marginalised, to seek quick response and remedies for injustice, improve legal protection; legal awareness; legal aid and address the challenges in the justice sector such as police brutality, inhumane prison conditions, lengthy pre-trial detention, and impunity for perperators of sexual and gender based violence amongst other conflict related crimes”.
Sundiata Post recalls that the Annual General Conference scheduled to take place between
23rd to 26th November, 2022. Some of the activities are;
- Outreach to FCT school for the blind Jabi, School of the deaf Kuje, School for special needs Kuje
- Opening ceremony
- General meeting
- Continuing legal Education
Also very critical are activities to start the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The 16 Days of Activism ends on the 10th of December.