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Rights violation by landlords, employers, the police and even the governments are daily occurrence in our country. Out of ignorance some people resort to self-help whereas legal systems which guarantee equal access to justice exist.
No doubt, money and ignorance constitutes obstacles to justice. The prohibitive counsel’s fees, filing fees and other ancillary cost, make access to justice to indigent Nigerians illusory. Consequently, many whose rights are being violated resign their fate to the court of almighty God.
Equal access to justice is a constitutional right. Our laws, charity and Human Rights organisations provide for free legal assistance to people who cannot afford legal representation. Legal Aid ranges from rendering Legal service through consultation, advice or representation in Courts.
A person seeking Legal Aid must have no income of any type or if he does, must be earning the national minimum wage or below. However, Legal Aid can still be granted on contributory basis if the applicant’s income is more than the minimum wage subject to paying Legal Aid Council certain percentage of the income.
You may approach any of the offices of Legal Aid Council in your State or through their hotlines: 08034175847; 08087084221; 08063079364; 08033908563; 08035983517. At Legal Aid Council, someone listens to your case, guides you to fill up an application form, few days later you are assigned a lawyer who will be representing you in court. Besides some law firms provides pro-bono services to the indigent.
With the level of poverty and financial distress that many Nigerians face, legal aid could be the only hope for many who unfortunately might have a matter before the courts. Legal aid not only helps in decongesting the prisons but also tremendously helps in protecting the fundamental human rights of many indigent.

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