Access to justice sacrosanct, NCPWD boss makes case for PWDs



By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

The Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Mr. James David Lalu said that access to Justice by Persons With Disabilities, PWDs has taken a central dimension and all hands must be on deck to enforce the law which has already been passed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Lalu said this during a working visit to Legal Aid Council office, Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, the Bill was originally presented in 2018 prohibiting the discrimination against Persons With Disabilities and equally empowers PWDs to have access to 5 to 10 percent of employment in all government offices not excluding the private sector” he said.

” It is on this premise that the Commission’s helmsman met with the Director General, Legal Aid Council, and other management Staff of the Council to seek collaboration in order to provide legal services to Persons With Disabilities across the country,” he explained.

The ES emphasised that PWDs have experienced various forms of ill- treatments from the society and especially within their family units. He mentioned a case where a PWD was denied inheritance due to his condition.

Lalu underpinned the importance of having passionate legal Advocates that will help pursue issues of disabled persons favourably.

“Applying landmark judgement is key to the sustenance of the disability law”, he opined.

The NCPWD boss also disclosed the Commission’s recent collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force to establish Desk Offices in all Commands to handle complaints on disabilities’ right violations.

Meanwhile, the Director General, Legal Aid Council, Mr. Aliyu Bagudu Abubakar promised to avail the Commission every assistance in the enforcement and implementation of the law.

The DG further reiterated his confidence in the team appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to run the affairs of NCPWD.

He also noted that the appointment of Mr. James David Lalu is an appropriate choice that will help drive the vision behind the establishment of the Commission. “A square peg in a square opening”

Abubakar said the society should be free of all kinds of discriminations not limited to Persons with Disabilities.

The high point of the event was the presentation of the copies of the 2018 Prohibition Act to Director General by the ES.