The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abuja Branch (The Unity Bar) under the leadership of its Acting Chairman and Chair, Human Rights Committee, Chioma Onyenucheya-Uko, in keeping with the spirit of its dear departed Chair, late Dr. Hauwa Shekarau, hosts Training of Trainers for the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS).
According to Victor Onuche Chapi, a member of the Branch and Coordinator of the Duty Solicitors Network in Abuja, the Unity Bar is prepared to take the lead in ensuring that the Police Duty Solicitors Scheme (PDSS) is fully implemented in FCT.
He noted that the training the trainer’s event will not only encourage NBA members to take PDSS more seriously but would also introduce the network of volunteers who will begin to accompany magistrates to police detention facilities in the FCT.
Conducting the trainings will be former chairman of NBA Ikorodu Branch and convener of the Duty Solicitors Network (DSN), Bayo Akinlade.
Mr. Akinlade notes that with the support of the EU sponsored British Council RoLac programme, more than 300 NBA members in 5 States across the federation have received training on PDSS. He also acknowledged the support he has received from the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria in promoting PDSS which is a Scheme initiated and led by the Council.
”This Abuja training is coming at the right time because we are approaching the holiday seasons and we need lawyers on ground at the police stations to provide free legal services and to protect the rights of citizens wrongly arrested or detained by the police” says Mr. Akinlade.
The Abuja training is made possible through donations from Prof. Isabella Okagbue and the Justice Reform Project.
The PDSS has positively impacted the Administration of Criminal Justice System as a mechanism to decongest the courts and the prisons.