Chairman of the Ikorodu Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr Bayo Akinlade, has drawn out precautionary guidelines to volunteers of the Police Duty Solicitors Scheme,(PDSS) as part of efforts in promoting human rights.
PDSS is an initiative aimed at canvassing for and securing the rights of citizens from abuse , oppression and imfirngements.
In a statement issued online by Akinlade, he said that just as other professions like Medical doctors , Police, Food vendors, and transporters are carrying out their responsibilities during the COVOD-19 pandemic, lawyers too much play their part.
He, however said that in doing so, precautionary measures must be put in place to ensure the safety of legal volunteers.
“I commend those who will at this period, volunteer to protect the basic rights of fellow citizens; No greater love than this, than for a man to lay down (sacrifice his time, talent, comfort, treasure etc) his life for another.
“Other professions are playing their part during this period; Our doctors are there, accountants and bankers are there, transporters are there, food vendors are there, the police are there and so, the Lawyers wi be there” he said
On ways to ensure safety during the period, Akinlade outlined steps for volunteers to keep them safe when volunteering services at police stations.
“Wear protective clothing as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Wear gloves, put on a face mask, make sure you are well covered and have a hand sanitizer: NBA Ikorodu will provide all you require in this regard.
“Keep safe distance between you and the suspect, complainant and the police and if you meet with any resistance, simply record the circumstances under which you were not allowed to provide your services then, withdraw.
“If you are not allowed into the police station, stay at the nearest convenient place outside the station and notify the Divisional Police Officer of your location .
“Do not insist on anything, merely provide probono advice and services, and record everything
“If you come across any challenging situation, call your PDSS coordinator or the NBA Branch Chairman immediately; be conscious of your environment and stay safe,” he said
On financial support, Akinlade urged all volunteers to discuss with their PDSS coordinator for any reimbursements or other financial concerns.
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