법과 질서| The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq. - Law and Order; Naija Version: Episode 18 (2018)
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“Fiat justitia ruat cælum” [Let justice be done though the heavens fall] - Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Mr. Olanipekun Esq.
In Nigeria, the Police might not be your friend (insert police jokes here), but there are some friendly faces who are working on reforming the criminal justice system, and I’d like for you to meet one of them. Here’s introducing Mr. Nelson Olanipekun Esq., a human rights lawyer and the team lead at Gavel. Gavel is a civic tech organization, which started in 2017 and aims to improve the pace of justice delivery through tech.
Gavel has reached millions of Nigerians with over 100 indigent Nigerians benefiting directly from it. They provide free legal support for inmates awaiting trials, victims of domestic violence, and a whole lot of other people. In this episode, we talked about the Nigerian justice system and ways to rebrand it, as well as police brutality amidst the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) pandemic. We explored the Nigerian prison system and its many challenges, chief of which are overcrowding and not following due processes. I also probed Mr. Olanipekun’s thoughts on whether SARS should be reformed or as scrapped as a whole?
PS: Years and years of watching legal dramas such as Suits, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, The Practice have finally paid off. See if you can get your own legalese on, like I did, with this new episode. Also, Gavel has this cool feature on their website where you can track cases of individuals who are awaiting trials; it has been used to track over 500 inmates – check it out here: http://gavel.ng/opened-cases
Fun facts about Mr. Olanipekun Esq.
- He wrote a letter to the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) on enforcing the existing rules that have implications for ending police brutality. The SCN replied favorably. Wait what?!
- He once sued the Government over the long detention of over 100 inmates who have been awaiting trial for over seven years.
- He failed at his first start-up in 2014 but restarted in 2017.
- He is, most certainly, not a lazy Nigerian youth.
- If he didn’t study law, he would be a tech geek.
- Tips for entrepreneurs: learn from your mistakes and don’t give up when you fail.
- Be more active citizens. Most Nigerians need to take more interest in governance.
- Be your brother’s (and sister’s) keeper; If you see something, say something.
- Lawyers can also volunteer and donate their time to help at the Gavel.
- Donations are needed to reach more people and to continue to provide legal aid to indigents.
- As at March 2018, 68% of the Nigerian prison population are awaiting trial.
- Avoid prison, especially the Nigerian kind, if you can.
Consider donating to Gavel to help their cause. Donations can be made here:
- Local: Access Bank 0773466368, Citizens Gavel Nigeria
- Dollar donations: Access Bank 0773502598 Domiciliary Account Citizens Gavel Nigeria
- Online donations: rave.flutterwave.com/pay/citizensgavelnigeriagv8z
- Contact Gavel via Twitter @citizen_gavel or email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Iyabo’s Story that started it all can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cs3oTKqyME
- To report an incident, contact the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) on http://npf.gov.ng/complaint/
- Read more about the ACJA (which was referenced) here: http://www.thelawyerschronicle.com/a-brief-analysis-of-nigerias-administration-of-criminal-justice-act-2015/