Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, in Port-Harcourt appealed to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to offer more free legal services to less privileged citizens who cannot afford to pay legal fees and safeguard the nation’s democracy.
He spoke at the commissioning and handing over ceremony of the magnificent Port-Harcourt NBA Law Centre built by Rivers State government for the association.
He said: “One way you can support us to achieve this goal is for the NBA to extend your professional services to the indigent in our communities, who cannot afford the spiraling cost of litigation and are therefore, denied justice on that singular account.
“We implore you therefore, to strengthen and expand pro-bono legal services to cover even civil cases to protect the poor from being oppressed and repressed by the rich who can afford to pay their ways to justice. “
The governor appealed to the NBA to take steps to safeguard democracy and ensure that the rule of law is entrenched in the country.
Responding, National President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), said: “This is the most pleasant event that I will be participating in. This edifice is a national edifice for the legal profession.
“I have heard so many testimonies about the giant strides of Governor Wike, and this one is close to the legal profession. On behalf of all our colleagues across the country, we commend Governor Wike and the people of Rivers State,” he said.
He added that the Port Harcourt NBA Law Centre, Rivers State, had immense national significance because it symbolised the success of the legal profession.