LAC partners with ROLAC, OSJI and FCT Command on Police Duty Solicitor Scheme
The Legal Aid Council, and the NPF FCT Command are working out modalities for the implementation of the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme in the FCT.
The Duty Solicitor Scheme is in line with the Legal Aid and Pre-trial Detention in Nigeria Programme. It is a method of delivering Legal Advice and assistance to suspects in Police Custody. It is designed to give would-be suspects immediate access to trained and experienced Legal Practitioners at the Police Station, which is usually the first point of contact for persons in conflict with the law.
Presently the PDSS is ongoing in Ondo, Rivers, Imo, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kebbi States. With the support of Open Society Initiative in West Africa (OSIWA), Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE), United Nations office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and EU Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC).
Towards institutionalizing the Scheme, Force Order No. 20 as amended on provision of legal services in the Police Stations was presented to the public by Inspector-General of Police on the 20th of September 2017 in order to strengthen the PDSS.
The Director-General Legal Aid Council, Aliyu B. Abubakar led the team that visited the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma. Accompanying the DG was Mr. Stanley Ibe (Open Society Justice Initiative) along with some staff of LAC, E. Azariah, G. Nsot, B. Ibikunle, O. Verr.
The Director-General thanked the CP for receiving the delegation. He said the visit was to seek the cooperation of the FCT Command in the implementation of the Force Order 20 within the FCT as well as the PDSS within select Police Stations. The Director-General described the Nigeria Police Force as an integral part of the function of the Council and without which the mandate will not be achievable.
CP Bala Ciroma again welcomed the delegation and assured them that the FCT Command is ready to collaborate with the Council. Others present at the meeting with the CP include DCP Umar Usman (Operations), ACP Yakubu Yakubu (Investigations), ACP Ismaila Magaji (Administration), CSP James Idachaba (OC Legal) and DSP Manza (PRO FCT Command).