Public Defender and Citizens’ Right Commission lauds Governor Bello’s passion towards human rights protection
The Director General of Kogi State Public Defender and Citizens’ Right Commission, (PDCRC) says Kogi State is one of the six states in Nigeria that has an organization that ensure free legal services to ensure the protection of human rights.
Mr Zakari stated this while addressing the participants at a two day awareness and sensitisation program for stakeholders on Kogi State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law, 2022 held at Suitoria Hotel Lokoja.
He described the Commission as an Agency of the state that provides legal services that allow for access to justice, gives legal aid on behalf of government and promote and protect human rights freely.
On the sustenance of human rights so far in Kogi State, the Director General said the institutions in place to ensure the protection of rights of citizens as guaranteed by the law is on and working fine.
He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for his deep interest in sustaining the rights of citizens irrespective of social stratification.
According to him, the Governor years back saw the need to assist those who could not afford the services of a lawyer hence the need for the establishment of the Commission which was funded to make it vibrant to optimally meets its expectations.
On the November 11 2023 election, Mr Zakari said the law prohibits all forms of violence, especially political violence; noting that the Governor in his wisdom approves the awareness program few days to the election to demonstrate his disposition and commitment to ensuring violence free election.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice: Mrs Falilat Yusuf Musa who represent her boss, Mohammed Sanni Ibrahim (SAN) said the program was special because it focuses on Violence Against Person Law that was implemented in June 22nd 2022 by Governor Yahaya Bello.
According to him, the program will enlighten the public to know their rights as citizens of Kogi State and by extension, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He explained that anyone who is violated should approach the Commission to seek redress noting that such development would enhance a secured society where rights of individual is protected irrespective of social stratification, religion and sex.
Mr Ibrahim noted that the established Commission will always help in curbing excesses as well as unreported cases of happenings in the society due to stigmatization, intimidation, and lack of finance to fight their cases.
Similarly, the Chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers, Mrs Lillian Okolo described the event as the hallmark of the activities to project the advocacy towards gender based violence through combination of efforts.
She urged the society to shun the culture of silence on gender based violence and report cases to appropriate authority particularly the PDCRC that offers free legal services.
In her reaction as well, the Amirah of the state chapter of the Federation of Moslem Women Association (FOMWAN) Hajiah Falilat Yusuf who was represented by Hajiah Memunat Salami said FOMWAN is happy about the stakeholders meeting noting that the ignorance of where to report criminal cases at domestic level has set back the constitutional rights in Nigeria.
According to her, there are so many unislamic actions that have been swept underground in the past due to inability of the victims to seek legal redress.
She thanked Governor Bello for his support to human rights protection saying with the development, crime and criminality will reduce in the society.
Present at the occasion were legal luminaries across the state, representatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigeria Corrective Services, Nigeria Police, Christain Association of Nigeria and students from across secondary schools in the state.