The Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE) in collaboration with Rule of Law and Anti Corruption (RoLAC) have organised free legal aid services campaign in selected communities in Anambra state.
The 3-day exercise, tagged, ‘Community sensitization/free legal aid clinic for vulnerable persons in Idemili South, Oyi and Idemili North local government areas of Anambra state’, was aimed at protecting indigent and vulnerable persons in ensuring their rights are not infringed upon.
The beneficiaries for the awareness campaign were from the three pilot communities – Alor, Nkwelle Ezunaka and Obosi.
Speaking at the event, the Coordinator, RoLAC Legal Aid Committee, Anambra state, Barr. Nkolika Ebede, emphasised the need for people to be aware of their rights, urging participants to take the advantage of the exercise in ensuring that no one violates their rights.
Ebede, a human rights activist, who told her audience that the legal aid services was totally free, seized the opportunity to educate participants on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP), Widowhood law, Child’s Rights law, among others, even as she urged them not to hesitate in applying the laws.
She disclosed that efforts were on to extend the sensitisation to other local governments in the state, while also extolling the sponsors for their unalloyed support to the exercise. She identified the indifference attitude of people towards the exercise, noting that most people wanted where they can receive money rather than knowledge.
On his part, the Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy, Mr. Peter Onyegiri, said human rights was universal, calling for conscious effort to protect the rights of people in the community especially the vulnerable groups.
Onyegiri, who enjoined participants to seek redress through the legal aid clinic whenever their rights are infringed, harped on the need to involve traditional rulers, president generals, religious leaders and so on, in promoting rights awareness.
Earlier, Barr. Joy Ikebaku, called for value reorientation and change of mindset among people, remarking the importance of protecting vulnerable persons especially in the rural communities.
Participants, Mr. Godwin Ojukwu, Mrs. Bridget Nwosu, Leonardo Maduko, Boniface Ezeani, Mrs. Goodluck Ekwubire, and Andrew Oke, from the three pilot communities, in an interview, expressed their concerns and fears if the initiative would be followed to the latter, and urged the organisers to assist the indigent rural dwellers access justice when their rights are trampled upon.
Other members of the team include, Mr. Chris Okudo, Alor president general, Apostle Vincent Ughasoro, Mrs. Happiness Ezinwa, Andrew Onyekaonwu, Mr. Hyacinth Ideani and Comrade Gabriel Alonta.
For free legal aid services, the team/legal volunteers can be reached through these phone numbers 08033447672, 08033703421 or 07036892777.
High points of the sensitisation campaign was counselling session with participants.