By Lucky Isibor
In an bid to stem the incidence of torture for obtaining evidence for prosecution and address prison congestion in Nigeria, Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France), also known as Lawyers Without Borders said it has initiated the proCat project targeted at 78 cases in five states.
Edugie Amihere, ProCAT case law manager who disclosed this on Thursday in Benin City, said this year’s project is geared towards providing pro bono services for defendants who are victims of torture in the hands of security agencies.
According to her, the human rights oriented project being implemented by Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) scheduled to hold in five states of Edo, Enugu, Imo, Lagos and Kaduna will help to drive out the practice of using torture as a tool for obtaining evidence used in criminal proceedings.
She added that the project will enhance access to legal services for defendants and inmates in correctional centers, as well as address overcrowding in Nigerian prisons.
While seeking for continued support from key stakeholders in the justice sector, Edugie disclosed that the project will go beyond 78 cases by 2020.
“The project itself for this year has a target of 78 cases it must take on in the five states. In the initial plan for Edo, we had a total of 12 cases but in the passage of time we realize there was a demand for our services and intervention and made representation to our head office for an increase in project. We could not achieve that, what was done is that certain states had their quota reduced to give Edo and Imo an additional of five slots each.
“The project is presently domiciled in five states for this year 2019. The states are Lagos, Kaduna , Enugu, Imo and Edo.
“I have met with various actors in the justice sector of Edo state, especially to have a proper picture of our activities in the state and to seek for continued support from Attorney General, Comptroller General of Prisons and Chief Judge of Edo state.
“Once the cases are identified and approved we proceed to court to file fundamental rights,” she said.