From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Prof Florence Orabueze, Director Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has urged lawyers to always provide free legal services to the poor and defenseless in the society.
Orabueze made the call in Nsukka on Saturday while presenting a lecture titled “#EndSARS Protest an Indictment to our Generation” during Nigeria Bar Association (NBA)
Nsukka Branch, Enugu State’s Law Week.
She said providing legal free services to the poor and defenseless would help them to get justice on infringement of their fundamental human rights by the rich and those in corridor of power.
“Many poor people languishing in police custody and correctional centres are illegally attested and detained because they are poor.
” They have no money to pay for legal services of lawyers, without your intervention such people who may be innocent of allegations against them will suffer and even die in detention.
“Providing free legal to the poor will stop further violation of their fundamental human rights as well as give them sense of belonging in the society,” she said.
The Don said the recent #EndSARS protest was an indictment on the older generations in the county who did nothing to stop brutality, corrupt practices and looting that resulted in high level of poverty and unemployment.
“The #EndSARS protest is an indictment on the older generations of Nigerians and our leaders.
“The protest is not only targeted on proscribing SARS and ending police brutality but failure of older generations to rescue the county from brutality, corruption, looting and criminality,” she said.
The Director urged leaders in the country to ensure that all demands of protesters were fully addressed and implemented.
“If anybody thinks that the #EndSARS protest has ended without addressing the demands of youths during that protest such person is living in a dream world,” she said.
Orabueze who is also a lawyer however, urged #EndSARS protesters to devoid themselves of any form of corruption, violence and criminality that are seen in some youths of the present generation.
“The youths should know thar “he goes to equity goes with clean hands”, its only then they will be seem as true freedom fighters.
“The #EndSARS protest is an indication that the journey to correct past anomalies have started but the freedom fighters must keep their hands clean in order to achieve the desired result,” she said.
The Don expressed appreciation to Nsukka NBA for finding her worthy to deliver the lecture and promised to continue to abide by the ethics of law profession wherever she finds herself.
speaking in a lecture titled “Future of Law Practice in the Face of Emerging Techniques,” Justice Harold Eya, the Administrative Judge of Nsukka Judicial Division advised law practitioners to embrace modern technologies so as to compet favourably with their colleagues in other part of the world.
“Technology has made the world a global village and will make the law practice easier, with your laptop connected to internet, you get any law report you want.
“Any lawyer who refused to embrace technology now will remain behind as technology and innovations have taken over the world,” he said.
The judge said that, technology had made it possible for people living in different parts of the world to hold conference without sitting together.
He said, so also lawyers now use electronics to present evidence in court without coming to court.
“Now in developed countries, some lawyers will stay in the comfort of their bedrooms to present their case evidence and submission in court via electronics.
“Every soon the same thing will start happening in every country, days of coming to court carrying volume of law books will soon be over.
“The only thing you will need, will be your laptop or iPad connected to internet to defend your client and argue your case in court,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Matthew Iyamanbhor, the Chairman of Nsukka NBA, said the law week had remained an annual ritual for lawyers, a week to come together, learn and brainstorm.
Iyamanbhor thanked guest lecturers for honouring the invitation in spite of their tight schedules, noting that, their presence speak volume of regard they have for association.