10,000 lawyers to de­fend ter­ror sus­pects

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Mis­bahu Bashir, Kaduna

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”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.