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Legal Aid Council in Edo handled over 200 cases in 2017, official says


By Igbaugba Ehigimetor


Benin   –    Mr Eddy Enenero, the Edo Coordinator of Legal Aid Council, on Tuesday in Benin said over 200 criminal and civil cases were handled by the council from January till date.

Enenero who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) however said only 39 of the cases were concluded within the same time frame.

He said the council was nonetheless poised to do more in 2018, attributing the low number of concluded cases in comparison with the total number of cases handled to “certain factors”.

“The challenges of mobility and manpower greatly affected our overall output,’’ the coordinator said.

He appealed to the Federal Government to provide more hands for the council in Edo.

Enenero also urged government to make provision for mobility for the lawyers in the employ of the council for them to effectively discharge their duties.

“We have seven criminal courts in the state, with five in Benin, one each in Auchi and Ubiaja. Running around these courts is quite a challenge to us.

“We are also having challenges in the area of manpower. Presently, we have only eight lawyers under government payroll in Edo.

“This is another challenge, as they hardly meet up with handling the number of cases in court on a daily basis.

“So, you can rightly conclude that with more manpower and mobility, we could have been able to do more than we have achieved so far in 2017.

“Our activity is germane to the decongestion of prisons in the country, and it is for this reason that we appeal to the government to take another cursory look on the issues inherent,” he said.

Enenero however disclosed that the council was in partnership with a number of organisations and private lawyers, as well as several others.

He said this was to help it in discharging its responsibility to the government and the people in general.

“We are in partnership with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Edo chapter, and we have received quite a number of applications from private lawyers who have expressed their willingness to assist us pro bono,” the coordinator stated.

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