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Idigbe tasks governments’ on fundamental human rights

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Senior Partner, Punuka Attorneys, and Solicitors, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN)

Senior Partner, Punuka Attorneys, and Solicitors, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) have charged governments to invest in protecting the right to fair hearing as one of the inalienable fundamental human rights, by allocating resources to it.

The respected lawyer said just like the provision of water is the responsibility of government, provision of defence for the vulnerable is also the responsibility of government.

“Having access to defense is a fundamental human right”, Chief Idigbe said.

He spoke at a two day workshop organised in conjunction with Punuka Attorney & Solicitors and Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG)/African Alliance Partnership (AAP) in Kogi State, following the signing into law a bill to establish the office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission by Governor Yahaya Bello on June 4, 2019.

With the signing, Kogi State becomes the 6th state in the country to have legislated the establishment of the office.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two days workshop tagged: Providing Legal Representation and Legal Advisory to the Vulnerable – Roles, Responsibilities and Functions, Attorney General of Kogi State, Mohammed Sani Ibrahim (SAN), said training lawyers to defend the weak is imperative to ensure fair and speedy dispensation of justice as well as the promotion of human rights and access to justice for all, especially the poor, weak and vulnerable.

Ibrahim said: “It is the utmost consideration of ensuring law and order, the security of lives and properties and protection of the rights of citizens that informed the determination of the government of Yahaya Bello to treat Justice Sector reforms as a priority.”

The Kogi state Ministry of Justice had put together the two-day workshop for lawyers aimed at enhancing their capacity in providing legal representation and legal advisory services to the vulnerable in the state.

The Attorney General said the state has realized the importance of an effective justice sector in the socio
economic development of the state and nation went ahead to establish the Office of the Public Defender, to attend to the need of the less privileged in the state.

Ibrahim, on behalf of the government and people of Kogi State, commended CWAG/AAP for organizing and sponsoring the two day training, which he said is “specifically tailored to provide capacity building for the Ministry of Justice Kogi State in its task of setting up of the Office of the Public Defender that meets international best
practices.”

In his own remarks, a Board Member, Conference of Western Attorneys General – African Alliance Partnership, Markus Green said it is extremely important to provide representation for citizens in order to
achieve effective justice administration system.


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