Legal Aid Scheme needs tools to perform effectively – Executive Director

Mr Alhassan Yahaya Seini receiving the items from Ms Inma Zamora.

Mr Alhassan Yahaya Seini receiving the items from Ms Inma Zamora.

The Legal Aid Scheme (LAS), established about 31 years ago to provide legal assistance to the public is in dire need of resources to carry out its mandate.

In Accra for example, the scheme, which provides free legal services ranging from legal advices to the settling of disputes, operates from a building made up of seven small rooms occupied by 37 staff.

It has a total of 105 staff in the 10 regions with about 22 lawyers, who provide legal services to more than 3,000 people.

Mr. Alhassan Yahaya Sieni, Executive Director of the scheme, said generally their offices lacked working space, and basic needs like computers, printers, and stationary, and do not also have vehicles to facilitate services for their clients, apart from lacking adequate staff, among others.

He said this when a delegation from the European Union (EU) donated 10 computers and printers, one for each regional office, at a cost of 28,020,60 euros through the Accountability , Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) in Accra last Friday.

He appealed to the government to fast-track the construction of an office complex for the scheme, which started in 1999 and had been abandoned and remained uncompleted till date.

According to Mr. Sieni, the LAS was poised to ensure that constitutional democracy, rule of law and access to justice were extended to the poor and the vulnerable.

He praised the EU and the ARAP for their support, and appealed to both the public and the government to come to their aid, since the needs of the scheme were many.

Madam Imma Zamoka, team leader for ARAP, said the EU donated the items after the team visited all the regional offices and realised that the scheme lacked working materials.

She assured that the ARAP would support the LAS and strengthen its capacity in areas of accountability and anti-corruption.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey

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