Photo of participants from the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge Lagos Edition

The second edition of SDG 16 Innovation Challenge held in Abuja, Kano and Lagos state of Nigeria; to find creative solutions for SDG 16 by supporting young men and women ages 15-35 years to develop ideas, build skills and connect with others working towards a shared goal of strengthening accountability, the rule of law and access to justice.

The SDG 16 Innovation Challenge is a campaign led by Accountability Lab Nigeria with support from the National Endowment for Democracy. This edition focuses on four (4) thematic areas which include:

  • How can we re-design the justice system to serve the poor?
  • How can we support the voices of women in the rule of law?
  • How can young people enhance corporate accountability?
  • How can we make sure everyone is included in the conversations about the future of Nigeria?

Country Director of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Friday Odeh, commented: “According to the report by the world justice project on measuring the justice gab – an estimated 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems, people who are excluded from the opportunity the law provides, and people who live in extreme conditions of injustice. This statistic is alarming and calls for creative and scalable solutions to ensure that citizens have the timely access to justice and that the rule of law is upheld by an “independent” judiciary.”

Photo of participants from the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge Kano Edition

Precious Obeahon, the Project Officer of Accountability Lab Nigeria said: “The challenge will arm these young social innovators with the right knowledge and capacity to refine their ideas, implement on a very small scale and then scale upwards after evaluating their strategy.”

Photo of participants from the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge Abuja Edition

Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer & Company Secretary at Oando Plc said: “As members of the UNGC Action Platform on peace, justice and strong institutions, Oando remains committed to contributing towards the achievement of SDG16. In this regard, the Company is determined to build a strong and transparent organization which is anchored on the ethos of accountability and sustainable development. As an indigenous oil and gas entity operating mostly in Nigeria, the Company continues to demonstrate its resolve to tackling corruption, systemic failures and critical social issues which has deprived millions of citizens access to fundamental human needs, including but not limited to access to affordable quality education and healthcare, justice for all and economic inclusion, all of which form the bedrock of a functional society.”

The Abuja, Kano, and Lagos edition of the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge which held on the 27th to the 30th of January, 2nd to the 5th of February and 10th to 13th February, 2020 respectively, was a four-day long event which had every participant trained on social innovation for rule of law and access to justice, mentorship, theory of change, monitoring and evaluation plans, key performance indicators of social innovations, pitching, legal reforms in the Nigerian judicial system amongst others by seasoned facilitators such as Chinenye Uwanaka of The Firma Advisory, Founder and Co-founder of Network of Pro Bono Lawyers, Tony Onazi and Mrs Katumi Mohammed, Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Folarin Aluko, Damola Dawodu, head, governance Oando PLC, Tonia Uduimoh, programme manager at Oando Foundation, and a host of others from the Accountability Lab Nigeria team.

The participants went on to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges comprised of Amy Galigan (Political Counsellor High Commission of Canada in Nigeria), Esther Mabadeje (CLEEN foundation), Rita Lasoju (CLEEN foundation), Ezenwa Anumnu (NBA) and Rhoda Tyoden (International Federation of Women Lawyers, Nigeria) for the Abuja edition, Nibuas Tahir Jacacain of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, Katumi Mohammed (Nigerian Bar Association Kano), Halima Ben Umar (Co-chain OGP & Member Women in Media Network, Kano), Huwaile Mohammed (FIDA), Uman Saleh Auka (Member OGP & Member Anti-Corruption Network, Kano) and Ibrahim M.G. Sayasi (Assistant Secretary, NBA) for the Kano edition and Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa (BudgIT/Civic Hive), Lola Adekanye (Center for International Private Enterprise – CIPE), Philomena Nneji (International Federation of Women Lawyers – FIDA), Adebisi Janda (Oando Plc), and Opeyemi Owolabi (Socio – Economic Right And Accountability Project – SERAP) for the Lagos edition.

The event culminated with a debate on the fourth day and saw Emmanuel Bagudu, Ismail Auwal and Adedokun Titilope emerge winners of the Abuja, Kano and Lagos edition respectively based on pitching skill, context specific, relevance, innovation, sustainability and comportment.

Emmanuel Bagudu’s project called ARC (Accountability Reporting Centre) is an application meant to serve as a platform for exposing fake news and countering “brown envelope journalism” which has been used over the years to shield ACCOUNTABILITY and enhance citizen’s participation in the conversation about the future of Nigeria.

Ismail Auwal’s project is an initiative aimed to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition in one of the most affected Local government Kano, which happened to be the state with the highest number of malnourished children.

Adedokun Titilope’s Get Justice project is aimed at providing underserved communities access to justice. Its four pronged method includes awareness outreach on the criminal justice system, rights of citizens and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA); incentivized community classes; training sessions for law enforcement officers; and a mobile application.

In the coming weeks these winners will go on to join the 2020 Accountability Incubator programme of Accountability Lab Nigeria where they will receive further training, mentorship, stipends to support their ideas and be connected to a network of donor agencies and stakeholders relevant to scaling up their ideas.

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