The Legal Advocacy Response to Drugs Initiative (LARDI) is a network of pro bono lawyers spread across Nigeria. The group was inaugurated on 6th September, 2018 at Abuja, Nigeria with the technical support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under its "Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria" project, funded by the European Union (EU).
Registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) as an independent not-for-profit organization, LARDI’s policy direction is designed by its Board of Trustees while the National Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the network.
We believe that no person - whether Nigerian or expatriate - should be denied access to justice merely on the basis of poverty nor be stigmatized for being dependent on drugs, and that drug use should be treated as a health challenge.
Our core mandate is to ensure access to justice for indigent drug arrestees by offering them free legal services. This is moreso given that this category of arrestees is excluded from legal aidservices by the Legal Aid Act 2011.
The advocacy arm of our work focuses on a reform of the legal and institutional frameworkfor the appropriate treatment of drug arrestees. It also canvasses respect for the right of drug users to proper treatment and rehabilitation consistent with global best practice while discouraging drug abuse.
In line with this mandate, we have embarked on nationwide advocacy visits to key stakeholders including judges of the Federal High Court, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Prisons Service and Attorneys-General of the States among others. This will be extended to schools, motor parks and similar public places to ‘catch them young’ as well as sensitize them on the dangers of drug abuse.
Aside from providing our members with the requisite training to enable them offer effective legal representation to indigent drug arrestees, we also match lawyers to indigent drug arrestees nationwide. This ensures that no indigent drug arrestee is denied access to justice or left unrepresented in trying to ventilate his or her rights through the judicial process.
We hope to make a difference in the lives of indigent drug arrestees. However, we cannot do this without lawyers willing to volunteer their time and expertise.
Please join us today and together we can make a huge difference.Volunteer