By Stephen Adeleye
The Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC), Kogi State, has solicited the support of the State Broadcasting Corporation for the promotion, protection and enforcement of fundamental human rights of residents of the state.
The Director General of Kogi PDCRC, Barr. Abdullahi Zakari, made the request when he led a team of lawyers from the Commission to an advocacy visit to the office of Director General of Kogi Broadcasting Corporation, Alh. Hassan Ojo Oyila, on Friday in Lokoja.
Zakari said that the visit was to seek collaboration with the media corporation in the area of public enlightenment and sensitisation about PDCRC’s activities in the state.
Zakari noted that the Governor, signed into law, the bill establishing Kogi PDCRC Law, 2018, on 3rd June, 2019, giving meaning to access to justice as a key instrument in the enforcement of human rights in Kogi State.
According to Zakari, the PDCRC provides free legal aid and representations in civil and criminal matters in all Courts, and other related services to indigent and vulnerable residents of Kogi, who could not afford the service of legal practitioners.
He added that the commission also promote, protect and ensuring the enforcement of human rights for Kogi residents guaranteed under Chapter Four (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended).
He noted that the commission effectively commenced operations in October, 2019, and in spite the overwhelming challenges, had made modest achievements that had impacted immensely in the lives of Kogi residents as far as fundamental human rights are concerned.
He, therefore urged the corporation to create an airtime between 30 to 45 minutes on its radio stations, to enable the commission reachout to the general public and sensitise them about PDCRC’s activities.
He also urged the broadcasting corporation to continue to give extensive coverage to the commission’s programmes and activities, stressing the importance of working together as state government’s agencies.
Zakari further commended Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communcations, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, for his strong support for the commission, and urged him to do more.
In his response, the Director General of Kogi Broadcasting Corporation, Alh. Hassan Ojo Oyila, commended PDCRC for the selfless task to protect the rights and privileges of the citizens without discrimination to the admiration of all.
Oyila described Kogi broadcasting corporation as a public spirited one saddled with the responsibility of disseminated genuine, undiluted and unifying information to the public.
”We shall extend our services to your body in your efforts and activities to defend and protect civic and legitimate rights of the less privileged and the entire general public.
”Our doors and windows of opportunity are widely opened to your body, to protect and popularise your activities to the benefit of all.
”Therefore, you request for airtime is approved, and we are going to start with 30 minutes, so that you can tell the public the enormous responsibilities you are discharging to the citizens of Kogi State”, Oyila said.
Oyila further assured that the corporation would also produce jingles using the flyers of the commission that would be run from time to time on their radion stations to inform the public about the PDCRC’s services and location.
He also commended the Governor and the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed SAN, for the establishment of PDCRC and the immense transformation in the state justice sector.
In his vote of thanks, Barr. Idris Onogo, on behalf of the commission, thanked the director general of the corporation for receiving them despite his tight schedule, and granting their request.
The highlight of the visit was the presentation of the copies of PDCRC’s public enlightenment flyers to the director general of the corporation, by Barr. Zakari on behalf of his team.