By Adewale Sanyaolu
Legal Assistance and Citizens Rights Initiative (LACRI), an NGO, has promised free legal aid to the family of late Iniobong Umoren, the young woman who was murdered in Akwa Ibom State last week while on a job hunt.
A statement by LACRI Director, Social Advocacy, Njeh Umorem, said the state government and law enforcement agencies should do everything to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice.
‘We have equally observed, to our elation, the statement credited to the State Government of Akwa Ibom State, restating their commitment to ensure that the culprit are made to face the law as provided by our jurisprudence,’ Umorem said in the statement.
‘While we are persuaded that the commitment is not a mere rhetoric. We affirm our commitment to raise the bar of our vigilance to further ensure the culprits are made to go through the crucible and mills of our criminal justice system.
‘In ensuring this, LACRI said it adopts the comment and the fuller reasoning in the ratio decidendi of our Court in the case of Godwin Josiah V. State (1985) LPELR-1633(SC), where the Supreme Court, Per Oputa J.S.C (of blessed memory) succinctly expressed thus: “And Justice is not a one-way traffic. It is not justice for the appellant only. Justice is not even only a two-way traffic. It is really a three-way traffic – justice for the appellant accused of heinous crime of murder; justice for the victim, the murdered man, the deceased, “whose blood is crying to heaven for vengeance”, and finally justice for the society at large – the society whose social norms and values had been desecrated and broken by the criminal act complained of. It is certainly in the interest of justice that the truth of this case should be known and that if the appellant is properly tried and found guilty, that he should be punished.”‘
Umorem added that LACRI’s vigilance on the activities of state actors is equally extended to non-state actors when the rights of citizens are in the front burner.