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Lagos Public Defender Office Handles 7,000 Court Cases In 1 Year

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has handled over 7,000 court cases in defense of the masses in Lagos between January, 2013 and now.

Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola

Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola

The Director of the Office of the Public Defender, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi disclosed this at an interactive session organized by Zonta International Club of Lagos in collaboration with Women Arise for Change Initiative at Freedom Park on Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

The OPD was established in 2000 to provide free legal representation to all residents of Lagos State irrespective of their social status.

According to Rotimi, from January 2013 till date, OPD has handled more than 7,000 court cases, while the sum of N 47.2 million was expended for the same period as 2,868 petitions was also received and treated.

She also called on all Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs and various groups championing the course of women to devise a whistle blowing strategy to help protect women and young girls against rape and other violent crime against women.

Rotimi explained that the strategy was to help raise alarm so that people could come to the rescue of the victim, stressing that if a woman was under attack and blew a whistle, this would unsettle the perpetrator and at the same time attract the attention of people in the vicinity of the attack to come to the aid of the victim.

According to her, “no matter how large the number of the attackers, if they realized that a lot of people are also blowing whistles they would desist from attacking the victim forthwith and run away.”

The director also encouraged women and the society at large not to keep quiet whenever they witness a violent attack on any woman or girl, rather she says they should report to the Police or come to the Office of the Public Defender or call toll free line of OPD 07080601080 for quick intervention.

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