Barrister Abdullahi Zakari, director-general of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC), has commended Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello for prioritising justice sector reforms to ensure indigent and vulnerable citizens have free access to justice.
Zakari made the remark during a two-day capacity building workshop for PDCRC stakeholders in Lokoja on Friday.
He stated that the Commission’s workshop aimed to build stakeholder capacity and develop a strategic four-year plan that “will enable the Commission to deliver on its core mandate.”
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He stated that the Commission, which was established in 2019, has been providing free legal services to the public, particularly the vulnerable and underprivileged.
The formation of the Commission, according to Zakari, was “remarkable,” indicating that Governor Bello “sees human rights as a key responsibility of the government.”
Also speaking, Ibrahim Mohammed, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, stated that the Kogi PDCRC was created through the use of law as a result of the 2019 justice sector reform.
“PDCRC is a Kogi state government agency mandated to provide free legal services in criminal and civil cases to the state’s indigent and vulnerable residents,” he explained.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mr. Badama Kadiri, the director of public prosecution at the Kogi Ministry of Justice, stated that the PDCRC was also charged with ensuring the promotion, protection, and enforcement of human rights at the state level.
In his remarks, the chairman of the PDCRC Governing Council, Barrister Muizideen Abdullahi, stated that a healthy justice sector is critical to the development of any nation and urged participants to give their full cooperation and contributions in order to have a fruitful deliberation at the end of the workshop.