10,000 lawyers to defend terror suspects
A total of 10,000 lawyers under the umbrella of Arewa Citizens Watch Initiative have resolved to offer legal aid free of charge to people arrested over alleged links to Boko Haram insurgents.
About 50 lawyers representing Arewa Citizens Watch Initiatives, who attended a twoday seminar of northern youths and student leaders organized by Arewa Citizenship Action for Change (ACAC) in Kaduna State, made this decision known.
Leader of the team, Barrister Aliyu Lemo, said the group will offer free legal services to people held by security forces allegedly in connection with terrorism.
“We shall apply to courts to issue an ‘Order of Mandamus’ compelling the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to take all suspects detained in connection with Boko Haram to court,” he said.
He maintained that the group was not in support of insurgents, but in those whose alleged involvement in terrorism has not been established.
“There are two sets of suspects arrested by security forces; the insurgents and those who are innocent. We are not in support of Boko Haram suspects. Let all Boko Haram suspects be prosecuted but the innocent should not be held without trial unnecessarily. Justice is a three way traffic; for the accused, the victim and the state,” he said.
Barrister Lemo, who works with Median Legal Consult, Abuja said the aim of the initiative with over 10,000 lawyers, is to “compel government to use rule of law in tackling insurgency”.