The Nigeria law project is generally aimed at strengthening the rule of law and access to justice in Nigeria. The specific purpose of the project is to establish a nationwide system for the state-based provision of free legal representation to enable indigent defendants, and victims of human rights violations, in particular women and other vulnerable people, to better defend their rights and obtain legal redress. Under the first phase of the project implemented between 2000 and 2003, a pilot Duty Solicitor Scheme (DSS) was established with the training and mobilization of more than 400 private practice lawyers in magistrates and area court in 10 states, to provide legal representation to indigent criminal defendants and victims of human rights violations who were unable to afford legal representation. The second phase took place 2006-2009 and was implemented in 15 states of the federation, providing free legal representation to indigent prisoners and victims of human rights violations. It also entails building the capacity of pro-bono lawyers who work on the project. LEDAP also publishes a quarterly newsletter called “Duty Solicitor Scheme” (DSS).
The Project comprises:
· Legal Aid to remand prisoners and victims of human rights violations
· Advocacy for government funded legal aid programmers at state levels
· Legal support and rehabilitation of victims of shari’a law implementation
· Public interest litigation to improve the rule of law and good governance
· Prison visitations to remand prisons and prisoners on death row.
· Offer free legal support and representation to poor awaiting trial prisoners and victims of human rights violations who cannot afford to hire Lawyers.