Certa Law Clinics, a legal initiative, has offered free legal support to some indigents who could not afford legal fees in Ibadan.
The Co-founder of the initiative, Mr Charles Oyarekua, speaking during a two-day free legal aid programme said the initiative was targeted at improving access to justice within local communities.
Oyarekua added that the legal aid initiative put together to give back to the community seeks to empower 5,000 lives with legal aid within three years.
“Our aim is to create access to free legal services for indigents in the local communities. People in the local communities have a lot of issues with legal services.
“We noticed that they lack basic information on way forward and financial capacity to engage lawyers, that is why we came up with this initiative to close the gap.
“We have a goal of empowering 5,000 lives with legal aid within three years. We are doing this through workshops and free legal supports to community development councils and other community groups.
“We also sensitise people about their rights so that their rights would not be trampled upon,” he said.
Also speaking, the Assistant Legal Aid Officer, Legal Aid Council, Oyo state office, Bar. Rasheed Salawu, said the initiative was in line with the mandate of the council to provide free legal support to indigents in the society.
Salawu added that the initiative would bring relief for the people who could not afford legal fees to defend their rights.
He noted that many people in the grassroots were suffering from injustices because of their poor financial status and lack of right information.
let go some injustices against them because of their poor financial status and lack of right information.
“This initiative is an eye opener and good way of sensitising the indigents in the community to know where and what to do when they have issues.
“It our core mandate in Legal Aid Council to help and assist the indigents in the community. We cannot do it all alone, that is the reason we have synergy with private bodies, NGOs with focus on our mandate,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Community Development Council (CDC), Ibadan South-East Local Government, Pa Fatai Oloyede, said the initiative had brought hope to the poor people in the grassroots who could not engage lawyers.
Oloyede urged citizens to always seek legal advice and avoid taking laws into their hands.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Balikis Olajide, said her contact with the Certa Law Clinics had given her the privilege of resolving her legal matter at no cost.
Several people with land dispute, marital dispute, unlawful dismissal and gender violence, among others got free legal aid.