Headfiort Foundation has unveiled it’s fourth mobile office of ”Lawyers Without Boundaries’ in Ikorodu, a suburb of Lagos.
The Ikorodu office is the fourth to be opened in Lagos and the eighth of such offices to be opened by the foundation across the country.
Speaking to newsmen at a recent ceremony to mark the unveiling in Ikorodu, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mrs Oluyemi Orija said that the Lawyers without boundaries project was conceived in 2020 during the COVID -19 pandemic.
Orija said that it was .conceived at a time when the foundation was restricted from going into the prison to take the cases of people who needed lawyers.
“That was why we conceived the idea of having an office within the court premises. And we wrote to the chief judge of Lagos State at that time and he graciously approved to give us a space within the court premises.
“We started at the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in September of 2020 but unfortunately EndSars happened and it caught up with that office at that time.
“Since the approval of the project we have expanded to Ogba Magistrates’ Court. Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court and even outside Lagos to Ogun, Ekiti States. and Delta State and today we have extended the activity to Ikorodu Court,” Orija said.
The executive director noted that the essence of this ofice was to make justice accessible to people who are trapped in the Nigerian Justice System.
She added that majority of the people who are in prison were awaiting trials, thus congesting the prisons.
“For example Ikoyi prison is originally built for 800 people but it is a accommodating more than 3000 persons and 75 per cent of these person’s are awaiting trial.
“They do not have the financial capacity to even contact the services of lawyers.
“And that is the essence of this office so that when they are brought to court to answer to their charges, there is a Pro Bono lawyer who is going to assist them from our offices.
“They are available at the court from opening to close of work everyday, attending and providing free legal services from advice, representation in court and defense to these persons.
“I am happy that we are able do this at Ikorodu. It has been long requested for by our team members who are resident at Ikorodu,” Orija said.
She added that the foundation had provided support to about 576 persons, with 90 per cent of them been males.