To ensure that nobody is in prison just for being too poor to afford legal representaion.
WHAT WE DO
Recent statistics by the Nigerian Correctional Service show that approximately 70% of prisoners in
Nigeria are pre-trial or awaiting trial detainees. Many of these detainees are charged with minor offences such as fighting, trespassing, stealing and even defaulting on debt obligations. Although these offences are bailable, many detainees remain imprisoned due to lack of access to adequate
and consistent legal representation.
While some of them are innocent, many will end up staying in prison detention for longer than the maximum sentence they would serve if found guilty. According to a report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the average length of pre-trial detention in Nigeria is 3.7 years.
In order to help solve this problem, the Flemer Project was founded in October 2018 with the objective of helping pre-trial detainees, especially those charged with minor offences, conclude their matters in court as quickly as possible. To achieve this goal, we identify those in need of legal representation through regular interviews conducted in prisons and from case referrals from Magistrates and members of the general public. These cases are then assigned to our pool of volunteer lawyers who represent them in court, and with the aid of technology, we monitor the progress of representation provided by these lawyers with a view to ensuring that it is done as efficiently and effectively as possible. On average, our cases have been concluded within five months from the date they were assigned to our lawyers.
We work with young lawyers, with flexible work schedules, and many of our volunteer lawyers gain criminal litigation experience through our platform.