The director-general, Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission (PDCRC), Barrister Abdullahi Zakari, has commended the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, for prioritising justice sector reforms to enable indigent and vulnerable citizens to have access to justice free-of-charge.
Zakari made the commendation at a two-day capacity building workshop organised for PDCRC stakeholders in Lokoja Friday.
He said the workshop organised by the Commission was aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders and to develop a strategic four-year plan that “will enable the Commission to deliver on its core mandate.”
He said the Commission, established in 2019, had been providing legal services to the people, especially the vulnerable and the less privileged, at no cost to the beneficiaries.
Zakari described the establishment of the Commission as “remarkable,” saying it was an indication that Governor Bello “sees human rights as a key responsibility of the government.”
Also speaking, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Mohammed, said the Kogi PDCRC was a product of justice sector reform established in 2019, and created through the instrumentality of law.
“PDCRC is an agency of the Kogi state government with the mandate to render free legal services in criminal and civil cases to the indigent and vulnerable residents of the state,” he said.
Mohammed, who was represented by the director of public prosecution, Kogi Ministry of Justice, Mr. Badama Kadiri, said PDCRC was also saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights at the state level.
Also speaking, the chairman, PDCRC Governing Council, Barrister Muizideen Abdullahi , said a healthy justice sector was key to the development of any nation and appealed to the participants to give their maximum cooperation and contributions in order to have a fruitful deliberation at the end of the workshop.