Making Justice Accessible To Detainees
Paralegals are making justice accessible to detainees and reducing time spent in detention awaiting trial. They also help to reunite those detained with their relatives who sometimes are not aware of the arrest of their loved one. This happened to 20 year old Kallama (not real name) who had been detained day for stealing a goat and his family were not even aware as they had not been notified.
A female paralegal, Halima, was visiting the police station in Bichi LGA to identify those in need of legal first aid services when she came across Kallama, a first time offender. She took up his case and went to his village, a remote location which entailed travelling by car, motorbike, and continuing the rest of the journey on foot.
She met with his family and told them about his plight and that the court sitting was for the following day which she advised them to attend.
The next day Kallama’s relatives came to court where he was convicted and the presiding Judge sentenced him to 20 lashes and six months imprisonment or a fine of N10,000. Kallama’s relatives were angry with him for stealing and wanted to leave him to serve the prison sentence. However, after Halima explained the dangers of being imprisoned and advised them to pay the fine,they paid and he was released.