Accountability Lab Nigeria, supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and in partnership SERAP held a three-day SDG 16 Innovation Challenge across four states – Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Edo states. This workshop and competition-combined event addressed some of the challenges encountered by people who need access to justice by supporting young social innovators to develop ideas, build skills and connect with others on a shared goal of strengthening accountability and achieving the SDG 16 goal of peace, justice and strong institutions.
This project supported 80 young change makers across four states in Nigeria – Abuja, Kaduna, Edo and Lagos, with 20 participants from each state.
The Innovation Challenge kickstarted in Abuja on November 17, 2020 and lasted until November 19.
To find innovative solutions to unmet justice needs of people living in Kaduna State, the Innovation challenge held from November 25 to 27, 2020, at Hotel Seventeen.
After a series of capacity building workshops and networking sessions, the participants pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.
The winner of the SDG 16 Innovation Challenge in Kaduna state was Rachea Umoh.
She felt the need to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are involved in the electoral process. Consequently, she named her Idea ” Building Election Accessibility to People with Disabilities”. She stressed that PWDs lack access to electoral facilities during the registration of voters and eventual casting of votes. To build their participation, she plans to work with the Kaduna State Rehabilitation Board to ensure PWDs have a polling unit specifically designated for them. To do this, she proposes to organize advocacy programs with the support of the State Government, INEC and Civil Society Organizations.
The Lagos State SDG16 Innovation Challenge held from November 30th to December 2, 2020 at The AHI Residence. The participants were taught sessions on building effective, transparent, and accountable institutions at all levels in Nigeria and how to Pitch effectively among other things.
After these sessions, the program moved to the challenge stage where the participants pitched their ideas to the judges; made up of leaders in Civil Society Organizations and Companies based in Lagos State. The judges were: Felix Chinomso Nwakpuna, Lead partner at F.C. Nwakpula & Co; Yishawu Azeezat, Co-founder of Constitution Lab; Funmi Oguntoye, Governance Supervisor, Oando Plc; Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, Manager, Civic Hive; and Philomena Nneji, Chairperson FIDA, Lagos state.
Yusuf Temilola NURUDEEN, Esq. won the competition with his Police Duty Solicitors Scheme (PDSS) idea.
“Since its inception, the PDSS has secured the release of about 64 people including a student of Lagos State University (LASU) held in Police Detention for One hundred and Seventy-Seven (177) days. The PDSS scheme seeks to reduce excessive use of pretrial detention by providing free legal advice to suspects at police stations, that is, at the point of entry into the criminal justice system rather than waiting for them at the Prisons/Correctional Centres.
PDSS intends to leverage on young lawyers who are undergoing their compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) by training 20 of them under the LegalAid Scheme, on interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence with police officers. The projection is that if each of them can handle five (5) cases in a week, by the end of the year, they would have secured the release of 5,200 (Five thousand Two Hundred) illegal detainees.” Yusuff explained as he pitched his idea to a panel of attentive judges and audience.
The SDG16 Innovation Challenge held in EDO State from December 3rd to 5th at Limoh Suites. The Challenge was judged by Shofu Ajayi; Prince Israel Orekha, Executive Director, Connected Advocacy; Aloko Folarin, Nigerian Bar Association Chairperson, Abuja; Irene Omorogiuwa, FIDA Chairperson Edo state; and Dennis Osaretin Esq, Freedom of Information Council, Edo state.
The winning innovative idea was pitched by Moses Albert, a child protection specialist who works with children who are survivors of rape. His Justice4her project is aimed at building an effective reporting and evidence gathering system that will increase the rate of getting justice for victim-survivors of child defilement/Rape by 70% and reduce child defilement rate by 60% through community support system in Ogida Community in Egor LGA, Edo State by December 30th, 2021.
The project seeks to leverage on partnerships with the Police and Civil Society Organizations to create awareness, trainings, provide SGBV recovery services, and mentorship programs to empower people in the community to know how to gather evidence and report on time when sexual assault occurs.
These winners would be migrated into the Accountability Incubator programme which is a one year long programme which provides quarterly trainings, mentorships with relevant stakeholders, friendraisers events which connects these young social entrepreneurs – Accountapreneurs to prospective donors with an opportunity to pitch their ideas again and tell the story of what progress has been made and lastly provide them with some financial support monthly to bring their idea into reality or scale up their already existing idea.