Nigeria’s criminal justice system is as fundamentally flawed as they come and the defects are evident at every point of the line. Time and time again, Amnesty International reports have exposed Nigeria as a conveyor belt of injustice. From the failure of governing institutions to design justice policies that serve the current needs of an evolving society, to lacklustre legislation and a judicial system plagued with corruption, bottlenecks, bureaucracy and gross incompetence. And that’s understating the derisory method of policing and a correctional system that inhumanely persecutes and warehouses those deemed ‘innocent until proven guilty’ by the very law that locks them up.
All of Nigeria is affected by this injustice because it has been brought to the backyards of all of the masses, privileged or not. Now, your perceived lowly connections is a long-term contingency that won’t necessarily save you from some on-the-spot brushing with corrupt and trigger-happy police officers, looking to obtain you for the night’s turn up. It’s easy to think losing your money to these guys is the worst thing when the fact that for every one victim that is shaken down, there are about five other victims who have to wait for an average of 6 years between filling and delivery of justice in a prison filled above its capacity isn’t factored in.
In a bid to influence reform, Adeboro Odunlami launched a platform that connects underprivileged litigants without access to representation with lawyers willing to take up their case pro bono. With “chapteriv.ng”, you can make a report if your fundamental right has been violated and have your case handled for free once you sign up to offer lawyering services. This is how we get our hands dirty and do the work to drive the change we hope to see. You might not need this service—yet—but someone not so far from you does. Tell someone to tell another about chapteriv.ng.
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