Lack of manpower, funding, disrupting our operations – LAC boss

The Director General of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, Aliyu Abubakar, has lamented the lack of manpower and funding to carry out its operations in the country, saying it has remained Council’s bane of late.

Abubakar made this known while speaking at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Human Rights Award 2024 organised by the Call a Lawyer group in Abuja.

The DG expressed dismay over low participation of experienced private legal practitioners in the legal aid scheme by way of pro bono.

According to him, the inability of the Council to reimburse their expenses stemmed from lack of funds or and a total lack of interest in pro bono service.

At the ceremony, the LAC boss noted further, “In working towards the actualization of its mandate, the Council faces numerous problems, amongst which are inadequate funding and manpower (minimal numerical staff strength as the magnitude of cases requiring legal aid is huge compared to the number of lawyers in the Legal Aid Council).

“The role and place of lawyers providing pro bono and thereby complementing the Legal Aid Council cannot be overemphasised.”

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Dr James Lalu, urged lawyers to prioritize the rights of persons with disabilities.

He said, “It is very important for us to join hands together to promote, protect and prioritize the rights of persons with disabilities, as disability is part of our human diversity,” Lalu added.

Mrs Amina Suzanah Agbeje, CVP/National President, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIFA); Afam Osigwe, SAN, Chairman, NBA Remuneration Committee; ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Force Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Police Force; Chief Tony Okechukwu Ojukwu, SAN, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission and Amb. Emmanuel Osadebay, Executive Director, T200 Foundation also spoke at the ceremony.